3 May 2011

Whiteshill and Ruscombe Village Party 2011

Well Friday saw hundreds of us in Whiteshill and Ruscombe join the Village Party on the Playing Fields. This blog has some bits and pieces about the day but I am hoping a YouTube film will be ready later in the week.

Photos: Ruscombe Mens Tug of War team - the winning shield then below the winning team (thanks to Nick and Clair for photo - see link to tug of war youtubes below) and then the programme, then adults fancy dress, Parish Plan, winning childrens picture and some of the amazing cakes.

I was delighted to be able to open the event although not sure the mic was working very well...I know at least a handful of people heard my opening bit....

Anyway you will see my delight in the photo that Ruscombe Mens beat the Whiteshill team in the final play off with each teams best 8...you see it started out with A and B teams and Ruscombe lost both of those in the Mens but won I think it was the B team in the Womens, but not the A....all very competitive and have to note a certain amount of devious play in the first rounds - counting 8 team members seemed impossible and a casual observer would have noted sometimes as many as 11 on the rope - and in  some of the childrens and other matches it was getting close to 20!!

The day had lots going on as the events programme below shows - I will save some of that for the video - but it was a great atmosphere and a real chance to talk to neighbours and meet other residents...and someone who shared reservations before going that they didn't feel comfortable at a Royal Wedding event said after that she thought it was a great community event.

The events programme

1.00pm Commencement of Party & Live Music - then Whiteshill Primary School - Samba Band Parade (from the School to the Playing Field)
2.15pm Opening Ceremony with Philip Booth
Then various activities including:
Children’s Art Competition in the Art Tent
Wellie WangingBoules Competition
Cake Competition Judging: the Great Bake Competition - Portions of the cakes entered for the competition went on sale after the judging of the best cake in each category. Funds raised will go towards future village events. I managed to sample at least there different cakes!!
Fancy Dress Parade for Children (Kings / Queens)
Fancy Dress Parade for Adults (Royalty / Celebrity)
Then the Tug-O’-War - Whiteshill v Ruscombe (Eight participants per team)
The day finished with Raffle and Prize Giving (officiated by Rev. Brian Woollaston)

There was also some wonderful “Live Music” throughout the afternoon plus Children’s Face Painting, the Whiteshill Playgroup Memory Table, details of the new Parish Plan and the Bedazzled Jewellery stall.

Refreshments included: Friends of Whiteshill Primary School - Barbeque & Soft Drinks, Ruscombe & Whiteshill Village Shop - Beverages & Cream Teas and The Star Inn - Refreshments Tent.

Also on the web

YouTubes of the mens tug of war. See here (guy in blue shirt looks particularly strong!) and here. See blog on Transition Stroud asking if Kate is speaking the language of Transition here. See The Ecologist on how to hold an eco-frendly Royal Wedding party here....although I'm not so sure it fits the bill of eco-friendly!


If you click on read more you can see the long list of thanks plus some of what I tried to say at the opening of the day.

Thanks for the party

Huge, huge thanks must go to Chris and Sheila King for the organising - and of course the events committee. Here is what Sarah said said to me: "We have had a great many offers of help, loan equipment, and prize donations, including a Bran Tub, from parishioners and local organisations. Also, considerable input and assistance from Friends of Whiteshill Primary School, including partners, Nikki Ashworth for her assistance with laminating posters and organising/judging the art competition, Mary Watkins and the team at Ruscombe & Whiteshill Village Shop, Lisa Samak Chair of the Scouts and Guides Association in allowing us to use the Scout Hut facilities, Louise Johnson and the pupils of Whiteshill Primary School Samba Band, Whiteshill Playgroup, Ian Cormack-Hicks, who agreed to officiate as musical director and co-ordinator, Chloe Ashcroft for officiating with the draw for the Parish Questionnaire Raffle.

"Rev Brian Woollaston who has agreed to officiate with the prizegiving, Councillors, Vanessa Price, Chris Brian and Steve Tomkins, Parish Council Clerk, Helen Dunn, Dilys Warren Editor of The Warbler, Professional Photographer, Maggie Booth and Film Hobbyist John Kerry, for their offers to photograph and film the village party, Ken and Jenny from The Star Inn for their assistance in circulating publicity information. Sharon Walker and friends for assistance with organising the Cake Competition. Nick Quayle for the Memory Table, Chris Brian and Steve Price who acted as 'key contacts' for co-ordinating the volunteers for equipment-up etc., and for their assistance with documenting the required Risk Assessment document, and provision of marquees, First Aid & Fire Prevention. A huge thank you also to all volunteer First Aiders who agreed to offer their services."

That is certainly an impressive list and we have left off loads of other bits of support like delivering leaflets, helping with the marquees, baking and loads more. Fantastic indeed!

Here is some of what I said

Well it is a great honour to welcome you here today. Firstly congratulations to William and Kate. And a big thank you to them for giving us this great excuse to get together as a community. This weekend over a million people are having Royal Wedding street parties – nationally it is the biggest neighbour event for over 30 years.

Our party here wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many local people. I’m not going to list them here as Chris King will be thanking them at the close of the day – but I do want to say a big, big thank you to Chris himself for being one of those who have led this project. Thank you Chris.

Today is jam packed full with events like wellie wanging, the Great Bake-Off, the Tug of war and lots more. Party’s like this are about communities coming together – but they can also lead on to creating the changes we need. We are immensely fortunate in this area to already have much community here but there is lots more we can do. Indeed times are hard and getting harder for some – working together is good for all of us.

Over in the marquee you can find out about the new Parish Plan - and if you like - how to get more involved in our community. There are many new projects being developed like:

·     a firewood group,
·     more allotments,
·     a project to help bees,
·     another improving roadside verges,
·     local electricity generation proposals
·     and a community buddies group to help those needing more support in the community.

These projects would welcome our support. This is our party so let’s go and have some fun. But before I finish I would love it if people turned to someone you don’t know and introduced yourselves. Just so that we all get to know a little more about where we live. I will leave you with that. Thank you - see you at the party.

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