Voice of the Church September
Rev’d Denise Binks – Methodist Minister Bell Street United Church Dear friends, I hope and pray that you are keeping safe
The Cheese Festival – The best ever?
Blessed by glorious sunshine over its two days the Cheese festival once again drew record crowds into the Town and recreation ground and was an outstanding success and credit to the Town’s reputation. We should all take time to congratulate everyone who worked as a volunteer especially the guys from Sturminster Rotary without whom the festival simply couldn’t go ahead in its current format. A special welcome and congrats too must go to the revised organising committee under Jeremy Squires its new head.
The Town was awash with visitors for both days. There was a big increase in the area under cover given over to food producers and an eclectic mix of food there was too. Cheese was as always prominent but gin, Somerset apple brandy, famous sparkling wines, some grown and made not 10 miles from the festival ground, cakes and pies and organic meats and fish from Mere Farm, surely the best we can get? Something for everybody.
Rotary and the Community Chest ran a tombola fuelled by the shop’s donations supplemented by special prizes from the Rotary team and the traders present secured over £900 for charity. SERO the charity supporting Julia’s House was overwhelmed by visitors and raised a great amount for their charity from the food and drinks the ladies themselves made, prepared and donated. Friends of Blandford ran their shop for the two days and were simply delighted by the interest in and money raised for their cause.
Food sellers of the immediate kind were similarly challenged by the large crowds with many running out in the afternoon on both days. There were burgers, venison, chicken of various forms, pizzas, ice creams, cheese toastees, to name but a few.
The children’s play zones were crowded out on both days. Fantastic to see kids totally engaged with the acts before them. How does Punch and Judy work?
Last and not least the bars and bands area was the best supported area. I wonder why? I think they emptied over 50 barrels of beer in the two days as well as all the cider which had sold out by Sunday afternoon. The music played all day both days and roused many a watcher to their feet.
And best of all? Families. Grandmothers and Grandfathers with their Children and Grandchildren came together to have a fabulous time in a safe secure environment.