Pony rides, cake making, Morris Men, jazz bands, dancing round the Maypole, torrential rain and blazing sunshine – we had it ALL at our first Elderflower Festival this weekend!
Over 2,000 people came for what turned out to be a quintessentially English fete – full of fun and slightly eccentric. The day was completely stolen by the children, many of whom had come dressed as fairies and elves for the Fairy Fancy Dress Competition. There were some glorious costumes and it was unbelievably difficult to judge which was best, but Great British Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn, managed the task with enormous grace and a great sense of humour. Congratulations to Lerryn Johnson, winner of the over-5s, and to Evelyyne Walgate, winner of the under-5s.
Frances had a very busy day. Not only did she perform a sell-out baking demonstration, she also judged three cake baking competitions along with Julie Duff of Church Farmhouse Cakes. There were over 20 entries, almost all of which were of a very high standard (although there were a couple of soggy bottoms…), but the overall winner was Deb Beevers with a cracking Lemon and Elderflower Eton Mess Victoria Sponge Cake. You’ll find the recipe for this on our website next week.
Possibly the most bonkers event of the day was the Welly Wanging. For those who don’t know, it’s basically a competition to see who can hurl a welly the furthest. Sponsored by Woolsthorpe Wellies, it was almost as popular as the Fairies competition and amidst much cheering, Chris Mansley successfully managed to chuck his boot the furthest (19 metres) to win a welly holdall and a wooden welly boot remover. He says he’s already in training again for next year! The children’s competition was won by Tom Palmer who reached 11 metres and the women’s winner was Katherine Crowther with a throw of 17 metres.
The best news of all is that the Festival raised over £2,100 for the Belvoir Castle Cricket Trust, a fantastic charity that gets children involved in sport. It’s been going for five years and in that time it has helped 8,400 youngsters.
Hopefully, we will see you all next year for an even bigger (and possibly more eccentric) Elderflower Festival! In the meantime, thank you to everyone who put so much work into it and for making it such a special day.