Despite forecasts of rain and the event coinciding with the Goodwood Revival and a local circus, Trotton annual fete still saw nearly 500 ducks diving from the ancient Trotton Bridge, sponsored by visitors to the annual fete.
After the usual race down the river Rother to spot the winning duck in the village’s 30th annual race, victory went to a local lady who won £35, a rubber duck and a rosette – which she said was her first since her pony club days.
The booby prize for the losing duck went to the grandson of the organiser – but, as it was a good bottle of whisky, his dad pinched it.
Held in the beautiful riverside grounds of Trotton Place, by kind permission of Tim Parker – who presented the prizes for the draw – the fete drew people from as far afield as Chichester, Southampton and Guildford as well as locals – probably drawn by the signs of “Caution: ducks training” on Trotton Bridge for the previous two weeks.
They were greeted by a spectacular display of bakery in the tea tent and home produce stall, a wonderful range of plants for sale, the usual tombola, bottle stall, bric-a- brac and other stalls, plus a great area of children’s games and activities around the locally-renowned doughnut tree (all you can eat for free if you don’t drop or handle them).
One genius won both jars from the ‘count the sweets’ stall but no-one beat last year’s record of nibbling eight dangling doughnuts.
The fete made more than £2,500 for Trotton’s St George’s Church, helped by an increased involvement from the community, following a recent agreement by the church and village on an ‘amenity plan’ to improve the church’s facilities as a community centre.
Rector of the local four churches Edward Doyle said: “The money helps, of course, but it’s also lovely to see the whole community pulling together (ducks and all) to support this historic church.”