THE sun shone, the crowds came pouring in, the smiling May queen was crowned and the visitors ‘revelled’ in all the attractions on offer at the Fernhurst village fete.
The century-old tradition of crowning the May queen was repeated again at Fernhurst over the sunniest weekend of 2014, but whereas a century ago the coronation was the be all and end all, now it is just the first of many attractions filling a large part of the recreation ground and entertaining visitors from as far away as Bognor, Alton and Trotton.
The procession left Nappers Wood with music leading the old and new May queens and their entourage of heralds, garland bearers, crown bearers, pageboys and flower scatterers, accompanied by St George and the dragon he was later to kill in a very good fight.
Fancy dress contestants walked and rode on a trailer and reached the recreation ground to meet even more people.
The Rev Nick Haigh blessed the new queen, Rose Buchanan, before she was crowned by last year’s queen, Grace Marston, and allowed her favourite, St George, alias India Webber, to kill the dragon, Ella Asbridge, whose ‘body’ was carried away by members of the Cubs while St George did a triumphal circuit of the arena.
The May Queen was presented with the Red Lion May queen’s cup and cut her cake.
Maypole dancing followed as pupils from Fernhurst Primary plaited and unplaited the ribbons up and down the maypole, watched by the admiring audience who also appreciated the work that had gone into the fancy dress costumes.
These were mainly children from the pre-school dressed for the theme of ‘The Enchanted Wood’ as fairies and nymphs,
The judges, Jenny Woolgar, Doug Hale and Veronica Lawrence, chose three very varied costumes as their winners. Saul Combes was a huntsman, Joss Acott a petrified tree and Blade Combes a mushroom.
Other arena attractions included flying falconry, fascinating the spectators as owls, hawks and falcons flew high and low over their heads, returning to the falconer.
The fun dog show followed, mainly proving that most dogs in Fernhurst were very pretty, with very waggy tails, looked good in pairs, even when old were in good condition but, when it came to simple obedience, had not quite cracked the sit or stay commands.