PICTURES: Pulborough Harvest Fair

Pulborough’s famous free Harvest Fair beat all previous records on Saturday, with more visitors, more stalls and more events than ever before.

What started 11 years ago as a small community village event now attracts thousands of people from all over Sussex and well beyond as word of its success spreads – helped by its use of social media.

Pat Arculus, district councillor,  who opened the fair, and organiser Malcolm Gray with  West Chiltington Amateur Dramatic Society

Pat Arculus, district councillor, who opened the fair, and organiser Malcolm Gray with West Chiltington Amateur Dramatic Society

Pat Arculus, district councillor, opened the event and judged the scarecrows, together with the community wardens.

She visited many of the stalls and said how much she enjoyed coming to the event, in the wonderful field setting on the edge of the National Park and in the adjacent historic church of St Mary’s.

Malcolm Gray, organiser, said: “It is wonderful to see the whole community coming together around the fair and enjoying themselves - many people catch up with people they have not seen for ages.

“The dedicated team who have made this possible are the real unsung heroes of the day, as well as our sponsors, without whom the event would not be possible and allow us to give to local groups any profits we may make.”

The LMC Arena had a constant stream of dog and music events, plus children’s entertainer Tomfoolery.

At the heart of the Harvest Fair was the Harris brothers Old Time Fair, which gave young and old the excitement of traditional rides on chairoplanes and swing-boats to the music of the ride’s fairground organ plus other traditional rides and side shows.

Younger children, and some adults, enjoyed having a teddy bear tearing down a zip wire from the top of the church tower. They then retrieved it in the churchyard and every brave bear that did the trip received a certificate.

Inside the church, there was a tombola with more bears, plus quizzes for children and lots of other activities, displays and a chance to sit with a tea and cake and listen to the hand-bells being played. Visitors to the church activities were welcomed by the new rector, Father Paul Seaman.

At the centre of the large food area, West Chiltington Silver Band kept drinkers and picnickers entertained during the afternoon.

Farming part was well represented by a state-of-the-art tractor, an amazing display of historic stationary engines and petting animals from Brinsbury. Traditional country crafts were also in display, with whittling of walking sticks.