Fun in the sun at Dorset's fundraising fairs

GATHER ROUND: Miles Bell of the New House Pottery, Broadoak

COME 'ERE: Josh Walther trying to hook a duck

IN A SPIN: Tony Smith doing a wool spinning demonstration

CHEER: The rafts get a good send off by the crowd at the start of the RNLI raft race

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

HUNDREDS of people poured through the gates for the sun-drenched Stoke Abbott Street Fair.

The final takings are still being counted but organisers expect more than £4,000 to have been raised towards the Rex Trevett Appeal Fund, which supports aspiring young musicians in Dorset, St Mary’s Church and the village hall funds.

One of the organisers, Catherine Leech, said: “We planned this year’s event with our hearts in our mouths as the rain fell but we were blessed on the day.

“There was a great mix of village residents, people living in the area and holidaymakers enjoying the traditional atmosphere and sunshine.

“It’s a real village effort with virtually everyone contributing their time, hard work and skills to make it such a success.

“This event is always a favourite in West Dorset.”

Around 650 visitors thronged the stalls, afternoon teas, children’s games garden and the novelty dog show, which proved to be hugely popular for all ages.

A new feature – a human slot machine – and skittles in the pub garden were a hit with visitors too.

The music of the Rex Trevett Big Band and Hilary Durrant on the accordion added to the atmosphere.

There wasn’t a cake, sandwich, scone or jar of jam left by 5pm.

The raffle sold out of tickets.

Local farmer Dan Wyatt won the competition to name the pair of Portland lambs – Millie and Haggis.

RNLI supporters making a splash

FANCY-dressed fundraisers made a splash at West Bay at the annual RNLI raft race.

Thousands of spectators cheered from the harbourside and river banks as the 19 teams battled it up the River Brit.

The Rose Rafters with Milly the Unicorn claimed the honours for the second successive year when they were the first home.

Organiser Alan Jackson, from the local branch of the RNLI, said: “It went very well indeed.

“There were some really good outfits and there were a couple of thousand people watching.”

He added: “Thanks to everyone who took part and helped out in any way.

“They include the coastguard, St John Ambulance, the harbourmaster and assistants and the Riverside restaurant. Our thanks go to the so many people who helped out.”

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