Summer Fete 2015

soddenham-fete-2015I report on this years summer fête with a strange sense of disquietude following the unlikely incidents of unrest that has left a dark stain on what we would have expected to be another successful event.

The sabotage of the wheelbarrow display equipment was an act of wanton mischief by persons unknown and appears to be the starting point of much of the mayhem that followed. From what we have pieced together, it was the runaway wheel from barrow three that dislodged the legs of the trestle table displaying the trophies and sent the lid of the Purfitt Cup on a wibbly trajectory across the prize winners area, where it startled Denis Underhay’s Irish wolfhound (also named Denis) who took off across the display area at great speed. Unfortunately, Denis (the dog) was tied to Mrs. Underhay’s field chair which was yanked from beneath her, hitting little Noel Piszczek, whose grazed arm was swiftly attended to by Mrs. Taret with a lichen poultice and a scoop of ice cream from Skinner’s Ice Cream stand.

Denis Underhay and his irish Wolfhound, also named Denis
Denis Underhay and his irish Wolfhound, also named Denis
Mrs. Underhay
Mrs. Underhay

Mrs. Underhay was was not hurt, but very embarrassed as she fell into the lap of Brian ‘Foxy’ Mulgrew. Mr. Mulgrew was, by his own admission, quite the worse for wear after visiting the Drewery’s ‘Turpentent’ Whenever there was a staff changeover. Mr. Mulgrew took advantage of Mrs. Underhay landing upon him and, not missing an opportunity for mischief,  grabbed her tightly around the waist, and rolled over and over, roly-poly style, until they collided with the pole that the PA speakers were supported upon.

Brian 'Foxy' Mulgrew
Brian ‘Foxy’ Mulgrew

One of the speakers fell from the 9 foot pole landing on the compère’s station, and particularly on the right hand of our compère Unwin S. Schreiber, who instinctively leapt backwards and unfortunately collided wth Elsie Smokepipe’s Bontempi organ. The Bontempi was undamaged, unlike Mrs. Smokepipe, who was at the time playing ‘Colonel Bogey’ for the synchronised wheelbarrow display.

Elsie Smokepipe
Elsie Smokepipe

Mrs. Smokepipe is currently being comforted by relatives in Wiggenhall St. Germans and will soon rejoin the faithful at St. Polycarp’s just as soon as her cast is removed.

Unwin S. Schrieber
Unwin S. Schrieber

Mr. Schreiber is currently recuperating in his caravette with a complimentary bottle of Drewery’s Bicentennial Turpentine and has asked for no further sympathy.

This all may seem like a terrible farce, and had it ended there it probably would have been just that, but the fracas and subsequent food fight in the produce and baked goods tent has shocked and outraged the community.

Again, persons unknown are thought to have snuck into the tent shortly after the area was closed in preparation for the judges and made mischief with the displays. Unfortunately, this was not discovered until after the judging which started the first altercations.

soddenham-fete-3
Last years overall winner in the fancy sweetcorn presentation category by Victor Fruntt-Pockitt
Traditionally, once the judges have made their deliberations and the rosettes have been placed upon the winning entries, the tent is reopened to allow the eager throng to see how they and their fellow contestants fared. Initially, there was much wailing and beating of breasts about the judges decisions, which rapidly gave way to accusations of foul play, especially when some of our more ‘enthusiastic’ competitors realised that their prized fruit and vegetables had been substituted for inferior, or mis-shapen specimens and careful arrangements had been repositioned inappropriately or had additional elements added, rendering them disqualified!

A scuffle broke out between Des Vigrass and Peter Furcleby who both were convinced that the other was behind the subterfuge. This was swiftly broken up by other contestants, but just as this pair were becalmed, further scuffles erupted around the tent and this usually refined area of our our summer fete was reduced to utter mayhem.

Des Vigrass
Des Vigrass
Peter Furcleby
Peter Furcleby

Although there were no serious injuries sustained, there were a few vegetable shaped bruises amongst the crowd, and reports have been made of an apparent cucumber sword fight and a fairly rough thrashing with a large handful of spring onions. Our thanks to all those who helped to break up the multitude of individual fights and re-establish decorum and discipline.

In the hours that followed, the judges withdrew all this years awards and declared the contest null and void – the first time in our history! There were a number of people who were particularly unhappy about this, including Peter’s brother Roger Furcleby, who had won the best overall prize for the last four years and was hoping to make Soddenham history and topple the late Reverend Cyril Batten with a fifth consecutive win.
Meanwhile in the home baking section, further acts of malevolence became apparent to the judges when they realised that all eight of the Victoria sponge cakes had been systematically flattened. More to the point, that they had all been sat upon, as a visible crease between clearly defined buttock indentations could be seen in each one.
One of the desecrated lemon cakes
One of the desecrated lemon cakes

Indeed, each of the categories had been tampered with in some way, indicating that this was a very well planned act of sabotage, as these were much more sophisticated and required a great deal of preparation in order achieve as much as they did in the short time whilst the aforementioned distraction over the produce was in progress. I have been asked not to disclose some the things that had been done to the entries whilst this is being investigated, but can illustrate the scale of the operation by divulging that all six lemon cakes had had all the buttercream removed and carefully replaced with some sort of mustard-based paste, which rendered two of the judges indisposed for several hours after tasting.

Again, the judges declared the contest as null and void and have called for some sort of enquiry to be mounted to get to the bottom of it all.

Sgt. Maurice Dack
Sgt. Maurice Dack

Several people are currently being questioned about their involvement and Sargeant Maurice Dack of North Norfolk Constabulary is confident that those responsible will be identified and be subjected to the full extent the law.

There will be an extraordinary meeting of the Fête Committee next Wednesday at 7.30pm in the Lavender Room at Murrows Mill. All are welcome.
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One thought on “Summer Fete 2015

  1. “a fairly rough thrashing with a large handful of spring onions” Ouch. That must have left a bruise. An evocative account of a very lively summer fete. If Roger Furcleby wins the best overall prize next year, I hope they put an asterisk next to the Reverend Cyril Batten’s name in the history books.

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