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Midsummer party and barn dance

150 turn out on a perfect midsummer evening



Perfect weather, a lovely location, a good band and 150 people in the mood to party – it all added up to a brilliant Midsummer Party and Barn Dance on 30 June, the first big fundraising event for Clayhidon Parish Hall’s planned extension.

It was a proper old-fashioned village social, with Clayhidon’s oldest and newest families taking part. “This is amazing – it’s like a French village party,” said one of the newcomers. But this was very definitely an English event. The Stirabout Ceilidh band led the dancing and appeared to enjoy themselves as much as the dancers.

Plenty of others, blessed with two left feet no doubt, kept well clear of the dancing and sat on straw bales gossiping over Otter ale or Bolhayes Cider  and pork rolls, while children played happily well past bedtime in the mill stream.

After a fine sunset, the fairy lights came on, the rising moon looked as if it had set Brimley Hill on fire, the bar closed, the music finally stopped and the last partygoers drifted reluctantly away into the darkness.  Should we do it again next year? Everyone seems to think “yes”, though there’s no guaranteeing another Mediterranean evening

The hall committee, who organised this event, made a profit of over £2,000 – and that’s before donations of £550 made after the event. Another £500 was raised by the raffle. The star prize of a Cornish seaside holiday for five was won by Linda Higgins, which was only fair perhaps, because thanks to this event the pub had been exceptionally quiet. The bar raised £750.

Special thanks to

·         all the committee and helpers who put so much work into making this a success,

·         Russell and Caroline Bendle for giving the use of their field,

·         Richard Drew and his team for putting up the Drewfest tent and running the bar

·         Tony Drawert and Richard Brown for fitting the electrics,

·          Tim Potter for providing excellent pork and sausages at a generous discount

·         the Otter Brewer for giving us a generous rate on their ale

·         the raffle prize givers, including the Half Moon Inn, York Inn, Sidmouth Arms and Anne Langford

-·         Maddie Flint and James Willment for sorting out the interval music and sound

      Nicola Bendle for doing a brilliant sales job with raffle tickets

·         The Stirabout Ceilidh Band

Alex Hill for hs

·         and everyone else who gave up their time and support


And on the Sunday afternoon after the party, 40 people turned up for a cream tea at the hall. Twenty seven of them even ventured into the rain on a walk organised by Caroline Bendle. The tea - with home made scones and  cakes -  another £165 for hall improvements

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