The Mechanics’ Trust, whose volunteers have organised and delivered the event for the past 6 years, are struggling to see how the show can go on without the ‘Community Crossroads’ premises from which the work was organised.
The Children’s Fete is a family-oriented affair, which links the generations in a thoughtful and entertaining fashion. It aims to reflect the best of Swindon’s traditional community culture, emphasizing the importance of celebrating children and young people, and focussing on their future.
Originally termed the “Juvenile Fete”, it was an annual Swindon event, deemed “the highlight of the social calendar” between 1868 and 1939. It was never started again after the Second World War – until the New Mechanics’ Trust researched the character of the event, and laid on a modern Fete in 2002, re-created from the memories of enthusiastic elders, who described it vividly.
This year, however, the organising committee is having to seek the support of other local community organisations, and businesses in the Town, in order to ensure that the event, scheduled for Saturday 19 July this year, can go ahead.
Chairperson Jennylee Hall is appealing for others to help meet the costs and to offer their skills in fundraising and planning the day, and in performing or otherwise helping out in a ‘hands on’ way. “So many people have been dismayed at the thought of having to cancel the Children’s Fete, which has been such a hit for 6 years, across all the age groups,” says Jennylee, that we have decided to ask the wider community for their support, if they want this year’s event to go ahead.
We particularly hope local employees’ groups might use their imaginations to raise funds. “The rides and the GWR Park have been booked ,” says Jennylee. “Youth and other community groups are expecting to perform but we cannot go ahead and invite other groups to join in the fun, unless the insurance, health and safety, posters and entertainment costs can be counted upon"
It costs around £2000 to lay on a safe and successful event. The Trust has not been able to fund-raise, due to the over-whelming pressures associated with the loss of their premises.
Any community organisations, individual, or businesses that might like to get involved should ring the Trust within the next 2 weeks, when we will make the final decision to go ahead or to accept defeat. Things will also depend very much upon on whether donations can be offered to support the unavoidable costs.
Please phone 07977 451480 if you can help.”