Washout fears for fete swept away

Chill Factor:Two-and-a-half year old Esme Draffan of Nether Heage enjoys an ice-cream as she sits on the shoulders of her mum Alison at the annual Crich Village Fete.
Chill Factor:Two-and-a-half year old Esme Draffan of Nether Heage enjoys an ice-cream as she sits on the shoulders of her mum Alison at the annual Crich Village Fete.

The rain stayed away and the sun came out just in time as hundreds of people flocked to Crich for the village’s vibrant fete last weekend.

There were fears on the morning of Saturday, July 16, that the fete would be a washout as organisers and stallholders set up stalls in the pouring rain.

But right on cue, at 1pm the downpours stopped and the sun appeared, just in time for the start of this year’s village fete.

Phil Dolby, of Crich Fete Committee, said: “It went really well, despite the best efforts of the weather. It threw it down all morning while everyone was setting up, but then the sun came out just as we opened and it was lovely all afternoon.”

Aleena Naylor, of BBC Radio Derby, opened the fete and started the fun run, which saw 150 competitors race over a 10k course.

The fun run, now in its second year, was run over a challenging course from the fete field, over to Whatstandwell and back to Crich.

Phil said: “It’s quite a course, it’s very challenging, but it went very well. We get runners from clubs from all over taking part.”

Schoolchildren entertained crowds with some impressive maypole dancing and there was a thrilling performance from dancers from Gabriella’s Performing Horses.

Phil Dolby said: “Unfortunately, the vet had to be called out after one of the horses developed colic. The performance went ahead as planned, but we’re hoping the horse makes a full recovery.”

Chesterfield Musketeers Show Band thrilled crowds in their bright blue outfits and feathered hats as they played a slection of popular classics.

And there was live pop music from local three piece The Burgundies.

However, a planned fly-past from a Spitfire failed to materialise due to a mix-up.

Phil Dolby said: “There was supposed to be a fly-past from a Spitfire, but unfortunately it ended up flying over Ripley instead.”

But despite the setbacks, crowds loved the entertainment and stallholders still managed to raise plenty of money for their chosen charities and organisations.

Phil said: “We had a lot of stalls, and all of them were local organisations or charities raising money for themselves, such as the Scouts and the Cubs.

“We’re very grateful for the support of the local people who turned up and set up the stalls in pouring rain.

“It was a success and it was really busy, despite all the setbacks and despite Mother Nature.”

Planning has already started for next year’s Crich Village Fete, with the first meeting of the Crich Fete Committee set to take place in September.