For the first time in four years, we started planning this year’s Christmas Fayre on North Parade Avenue back in October. Not last minute stuff for us – oh, no….
…but, October whistles by, November a blur, and December 17th was suddenly here…..and so was Santa!
It’s always a juggle getting any event together here. Traders obviously need to keep the street open for any late customers, and believe it or not some that suggest it’s pointless having any such attraction in the first place. But the event has become a regular date in the Oxford Christmas calendar – and I believe there is now an expectation from local residents and visitors that we do it every year. So, it’s full steam ahead……to get the stalls erected, tables in place, the sound system rigged, etc., in such a short time without upsetting anyone.
Help always arrives in the shape and form of Martin, handyman supreme, and yesterday assisted by Dave. Without the pair of them, Andrew, Debbie (owners of The Rose and Crown) and I would have struggled.
Apart from a few minor hiccups (lighting, stall changes) – it was a fantastic success. What we couldn’t change, was the weather – it was bitterly cold. I think a lot of people who would have popped down to enjoy the carols, probably stayed home in the warm. At eleven o’clock last night I was feeling the same. I was absolutely frozen.
But what a great night, what a great turn out, and the stall holders and all our carol singers and brass band members braved the three hours!
The Fayre was opened by Canon Andrew Bunch and joined later by the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Mary Clarkson.
A BIG thanks to Heather’s father who played carols on his the accordian – no mean feat for a chap who is in his nineties……especially sitting outside in the freezing cold wind.
And then there was my daughter Elly and her friends from Phil and Jims Primary School – and especially Rowan who sang her little heart out.
All followed and supported by Wantage Brass Band, St.Margarets Choir – and our friend Liz and her singers.
Well done to them all for braving the weather and giving everyone a lovely time with some beautiful singing and music.
Incidentally, a local resident and journalist Mike Magee wrote a piece on his blog which includes a nice video clip!