Big crowds welcome the return of village fayre

BISLEY’S biggest community event was hugely popular when it returned on Sunday after a two-year break because of the COVID pandemic.

Teacher George Priestley conducting the Bisley Primary School Choir

The organisers estimated that more than 4,000 people queued to enjoy a day of traditional country entertainments in the sun at Bisley Strawberry Fayre.

“Everything was a sell-out and I think we have passed the record for attendance and fundraising,” said organising committee member Sue Smith. “Everything was making almost double what it made before.

A young competitor tries her hand at quoits in the Bisley Common Games

“I think everybody was looking forward to the return of the fayre after two years when we weren’t able to hold it.”

A highlight of the attractions this year was the Bisley Common Games, the local free-to-enter version of the Commonwealth Games soon to be held in Birmingham.

Children were challenged to compete at welly throwing, skittles, quoits and golf putting, with every competitor receiving a medal thanks to the sponsorship of West End Garage.

Another competition ensured that flags from Commonwealth countries brightened up the strawberries tent. The flags were made by Year 2 and 3 children during a sleep-in challenge at Bisley Primary School and linked together into bunting.

Aubry, aged three, enjoying an ice cream

First prize went to Freddie for his Kenyan flag, George was second with the Falkland Islands and Manahell was third with Antigua and Barbuda. They all won goody bags for their impressive artwork.

The bunting has been donated to the Army Training Centre at Pirbright, which sends recruits and trainers from the 1st Army Training Regiment to help run the fayre. “They were so impressed with the bunting that they asked if they could have it,” said Sue.

Many of the stalls had an emphasis on local produce, featuring honey made in the village and Bisley Gin, a spirit featuring flowers and plants from hedgerows in the area which was being sold by the Friends of Bisley Primary School.

Local entertainment included displays by 90 little children from Springbox Gymnastics, which runs classes in the village hall, the primary school choir and performances by Almac Bisley Brass Band.

Kim Cox and Jason Hamilton, two of the fayre organisers, sold hundreds of glasses of Pimm’s punch

Members of Bisley Guides did their bit for the village by running the Kidzone pocket money games and the Scouts got people to roll up for the coconut shy.

Chobham Morris dancers and the Woking and Camberley Rock Choir added to the variety of entertainment.

The event – which made £7,000 in 2019 – raises money for the upkeep of Bisley Village Hall. The takings are being counted and the profits will be known later in the year.

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