Whitsun fete, 1932

There was no Flower Show in 1932, and the fete organised by the British Legion provided some alternative entertainment. Amy Johnson (1903-1941) was famous for flying solo to Australia in 1930, and was a friend of Captain Rattray of the Old Homestead, Church Street.

We haven't identified any photos of this fete. Has anyone got any?

Buckingham Advertiser, 21 May 1932

Attractive Holiday Event Staged.
Cornish Cycling Clown’s Visit.

Winslow was en fete on Whit-Monday, the Winslow Branch of the British Legion having arranged an enterprising programme of entertainments, beginning shortly after noon and ending in the early hours of the following morning.  Winslow members of the Legion had spared no efforts in making their Whitsuntide fete of 1932 an especially attractive one;  and it seemed that only fine weather was required for success to be assured.  This was forthcoming and fete-goers were able to enjoy the attractions under warm, summer-like conditions.  Threatening skies and the sodden state of the ground after the previous night’s heavy rainfall, however affected the attendance somewhat adversely.

The Wolverton Town Silver Prize Band, who had been engaged for the occasion, looked very smart in their green and gold uniforms, when they were assembled on the Square, playing attractive music as the fancy dress competitors arrived, the first of these being a nigger boy with banjo.  Cries of amusement and excitement greeted the appearance, down the High Street, of Chasewater Charlie, the celebrated Cornish cycling clown, riding aloft on a high wheel.  His cycling antics round the Square on a variety of eccentric models gave great delight.  Over twenty fancy dress competitors formed in procession and marched to the ground in smart time, headed by the band and led by Lord Addington (President, Winslow Legion), Mr. Young (Chairman), and Mr. E. Byford (vice-Chairman), the standard bearer and members of the branch.

The competitors made a capital show when they lined up for judging in the grounds. There was plenty of variety and there were a few topical allusions.  There was one of the most perfect of golliwogs.  There was “Come to the Fair,” characterised by a little girl, who appeared as a living “Merry-go-round,” with her head-dress forming the canopy, horses and carriages, suspended by coloured ribbons, dancing around her frock, and a musical box making the orchestraphone.  There was a huntsman with horn, there was an elpin hussar, there was a demure little nun sharing in the gaiety in company with a Victorian Lady.

Miss Amy Johnson appeared as bride with a delightfully youthful bridegroom.  An entry called “The Mean(s) Test,” presented a tragic picture.  “Spring,” gave visions of the lovely flowers of the present season.  There was a live doll that said “Mama,” and there were several other attractive entries, a number of which gained prizes…

The Hon. Ruth Hubbard, Mrs MacDonald and Miss Stacey, who had kindly consented to act as judges for the fancy dress competitions, were confronted with a difficult task.  The awards were as follows:- Adults: 1. Miss Norman (“buy British Goods”): 2. Mr. W. Vicars (“The Means Test): 3. Miss Long (“Question Mark”). Children under 14:- 1. E. Rolfe (“Rubbish Heap”): 2. Maud Tucker (Spring): 3. Jean Berry (Doll): Consolation prize, Jocelyn Rowe (Victorian Lady). Tiny Tots.- 1. George Berry (Golly): 2. Derrick Rowe (Soldier): 3 Jean Young (“Come to the Fair”) and Mavis Byford (Herald.)…

[There was also a dog show, side show, a race for British Legion members and children’s sports]

There was then a dance in the Oddfellows’ Hall and for this Sid Tester’s Band proved very popular.

The organisation of the fete had been in the hands of an enterprising committee headed by Mr. E. Byford, who had put some indefatigible [sic] work into the arrangements, his task having been increased by the deeply regretted death, a week before the fete was held, of Mr. Clarke, the secretary of the Entertainments Committee of the Winslow Legion [Harold Clarke of the Model Tea Rooms].  The members of the committee were Messrs. E. Byford (chairman), A. Keys, H. Saunders, A.J. Illing, Clarke, L. Page, Hancock, H. Hamp, C. Parrott, C. Keadle, R. Tucker and H. Willis, who had willing assistance from members of the branch.  Messrs. Goss (secretary), Hamp and Boots were in charge of the admission.

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Copyright 12 March, 2021