John Stooke, member of the North Swindon Fun Day organising committee writes:
Despite a pretty overcast morning and predictions of inclement weather, the stalwart team soldiered on to make sure all was in place ready for the crowds to arrive from 1pm at Brook Park, Redhouse, on 3 September.
Ready to rock and roll were, George Scarrott’s Fun Fair rides, Minions and other Disney characters, twenty or so historic UK and US vehicles lined up, bungee jumping, pig roast, face painters, henna and tattooists, Ian and Anthony from Three Castles and their real ale bar, Bob’s (amazing) Brownies, lots of martial arts demos, large sound stage with eight acts lined up, 105 FM Radio, Andy with his reptiles, small dragons and big snakes, 42 community stalls from local councils to colleges to Scouts, to MS Charity, and of course our sponsored charity, North Swindon’s Butterflies Family Centre.
Swindon Speedway, Swindon Roller Hockey, GLL Trampoline centre, were all there as well. A huge effort has been made to offer loads of things to do and 900 expectant visitors poured into the park in the first hour looking for some fu.
It definitely seemed we had beaten the weather, then the first stirrings. One or two spaced out powerful gusts at first, just a warning, then the real winds arrived accompanied by torrential rain. Organisers were using all their muscle to prevent the Butterflies Family Centre marquee, rammed with children, from taking off, several gazebos were ripped apart, many had aluminium gazebo struts snapped like twigs underfoot.
By 2.30pm the park was pretty much deserted and despondent stall holders and showmen were desperately hiding from the torrential downpours under whatever shelter they could find.
Early optimism about fund raising targets was quickly dashed and nine months work by a few volunteers snuffed out in one and a half hours; don’t you just love British summertime?
Before the rain took over however, official photographers Charlotte and Lucy Stevens got to work and captured some of the brighter moments inside the first hour.