Last Sunday Friends of new Forest Village held a gala on the playing field behind Sharp Lane primary school, a perfect venue being large and flat. It was reasonably well attended even though it had not been widely advertised. There were stalls selling flowers, jewellry, cupcakes and hand sewn items to mention but a few. The programme promised something for everyone. Police dog display, Zumba, decorated pram competition, sports day activities, a dog show and face painting.
The weather was very different to the previous fortnight of exotica and because of this the ‘real’ coffee truck had plenty of business, service with a smile but very slow. After standing still in a queue for 35 mins in ‘unsuitable for the weather dress’ my hands were too cold to get my purse open to pay. At the other extreme was the ice cream vendor who without any custom resorted to ringing a very loud bell in the hope of some custom.
Unfortunately the arena programme did not go to plan, there was an awful lot of hanging around waiting for something to happen as a result of this a lot of people left early. When the police dog display team finally arrived, I was dissapointed at the few minutes the display lasted. The Fire Engine that I am sure I had heard was to be at the event didn’t show up at all. The contestants for the decorated pram had tried very hard and produced fantastic designs; but there were only two contestants. I had entered my dog into the fun dog show, but due to the delays and the weather, after two and a half hours I was just too bored and cold to hang around any longer.
Some things did go well, the sports day activities had large entries both children and some parents getting quite competative in egg and spoon and three-legged races. There was also a police stand where children could dress up in uniform and many kiddies donned the outfits and climbed into the back of a police van for parents to take snaps. This stand also offered free gifts that were really worth having: handbag alarms, window alarms, registration plate fastenings and permanent markers on top of the usual pencils and keyrings.
It was obvious that the Friends had put a lot of effort into the planning of the day and it seems there was more than just the weather that was working against them. Hopefully teething problems this year will be lessons learnt for next year.