There was a record turnout at the extraordinary meeting of the Fête Committee last Wednesday in the Lavender Room at Murrows Mill following the shocking events at this years Summer Fête.
Alderman Drudge, who chaired the meeting, opened with a very moving address that summed up the general feelings around the village and surprisingly invited anyone attending if they wished to address the committee and the assembled village on any matter relating to those events. After a short, awkward silence, a single person stood up and apologised for their actions during the fête, which was met with an equal but opposite silence. Another person then stood and recounted their actions with a heartfelt apology, followed by another, then another. This continued, each person waiting patiently for an opening, standing, admitting and apologising and sitting back down, all in an extraordinary silence. This continued for almost 10 minutes until everyone who wished to had said their piece.
With great aplomb, Alderman Drudge thanked all who had spoken for their honesty and with the agreement of room, he formally forgave them*. With this done, he then set about the main order of business and invited Sgt. Dack to speak.
Firstly, Sgt. Dack outlined the findings from the North Norfolk Constabulary investigation, that two, possibly three men and a woman, all in their early twenties were responsible for the sabotage of the produce and home baking marquee. These as yet unidentified people were thought to be from either Dereham or Thetford, but they are also making enquiries in King’s Lynn. It is thought that this was a premeditated activity deliberately aimed at disrupting the Fête, by those who had travelled here for the evening musical concert which went off without a hitch. Sgt. Dack also requested that if anyone knew anything that may be of use to the Police, to report it immediately.
Mr. Drudge outlined several responses that the committee had submitted and put them to a public vote. There was a majority vote in favour of returning the Fête to a village event with none of the additional evening musical events to ensure that undesirables were not lured here to make mischief. There was some opposition, particularly by the younger people, but not enough to overturn the decision.
One particular young man stood up and asked the committee if there was any chance of the music event being staged separately, arguing that the event had been very successful and incident-free this year and last, and it was a shame that the younger people would lose out because of this. There were some muttered exchanges around the room, including the committee, who closed the meeting on the following announcement:
“After a brief consideration of your impassioned request, the committee have decided that a separate musical event can be held in Soddenham that doesn’t clash with any other established event on the calendar, but it will not fall to the Fête committee to plan, organise and stage it. A separate sub-committe with be formed just for this, and I proposed that you chair it.” Anmer Pardow, sitting at his left, quickly seconded it. The young man looked rather shocked at this point but was very quick to reply when he was asked
“Do you accept?”
“Yes.” And with this, the meeting was officially brought to a close.
Next year the village will have a separate musical event organised by 18 year old Jake King of Early Lane…
*It was decided not to specify any people or activities in this account.