I have neglected my blog over the last couple of weeks, but I assure you there has been a very good reason for it. Unless you have been in hiding under a rock for the past week, you will know that I have been a busy little bee organising Horwich Summer Fete with my friend Dawn.
Just over three months ago, Dawn had a baby five weeks early. Samuel weighed just 4lbs 14oz and spent the first few weeks of his life in the neo natal unit of the Royal Bolton Hospital. When he came home she asked for my help to do some sort of fundraiser for the unit. Since my expertise lies in baking, I suggested a pop up bakery. We decided on the name Sugar Plum Bakery and set about organising a stall outside Spice Valley in Horwich.
Now then. Anyone who knows either of us will know we are never satisfied with 'good enough'. We want the world and more! A pop up bakery soon snowballed into a full on village fete. We enlisted the help of our families, friends, members of the Clandestine Cake Club, local businesses, contacts through our blog work and social media homies to make the day into the type of fair we attended as children.
They heard our roar. Our soldiers answered our call to arms. Within a couple of weeks we had literally hundreds of people pledging help in the form of prizes, donations and people wanting to attend the event. People who didn't know us from Adam stepped in to help sell raffle tickets, run stalls and generally get us out of a pickle when required!
So, yesterday morning we descended on Spice Valley in Horwich to set up the fete. We had a minor setback with the tables for the stalls, but within minutes our team of volunteers had mobilised and tables appeared as if by magic! Next came the hoards of cakes. Greenhalgh's sent 200 danish pastries, cake clubbers brought perfectly primped cupcakes and beautiful biscuits and home bakers brought loaves, tray-bakes and layer cakes. We were literally overwhelmed by people's kindness and generosity. There was a point where we really should have been getting a wriggle on, but Dawn and I found ourselves just staring at our crowd of helpers setting up. I'm sure Dawn won't mind me telling you that she shed a little tear. By some minor miracle we were ready when our doors opened at 11.30am.
There it was. In all its glory. A fully fledged fete with crowds of people buying cakes, playing games, faces painted, eating ice cream and bouncing on the giant bouncy castle! Around lunchtime the restaurant put on some wonderful food and a group of children from a local temple serenaded us with some drum music. The Mayor tuned up, as did the Bolton News. It was all ok. It was a huge success! Even the odd rain shower (okay, so one was an utter deluge!) didn't dampen our spirits! Our volunteers never faltered and the people kept on coming.
We were all utterly exhausted by the end of the day. Dawn and I expected to be, but we had never anticipated that our helpers would stick it out right to the very end. They all worked so incredibly hard! Nothing I can say will truly make them understand how grateful we both are. There is still money coming in, but our initial count shows that so far we have raised about £1000 for the unit. We are thrilled!
We were tired, wet and our feet were like trotters. We cannot wait to do it all again at Christmas! The event has restored my faith in human nature. There are some wonderful people around us. Thank you everyone!
I know I will forget someone, but a massive thank you in particular to our helpers:
- Our long suffering husbands
- Emma, Al and Sam
- Lucie and Kev
- Corinne and Michele
- Sara and Maddy
- Chris and Jenni
- Linda, Gaz and Lisa
- Heather and Matt
- Elizabeth and her husband
- Monica and Roxanne Pallett
- Everyone from Clandestine Cake Club Bolton
- The Bolton News
- Vic and Denise from Living in BL
- Geeta and the staff at Spice Valley Horwich
- Horwich Leisure Centre and Hazelbrook Nursing home for lending us tables at short notice!
- Everyone who donated a prize
- Everyone who had a stall
We've loved reading all your comments and seeing your pictures on Twitter and Facebook, it looks like everyone had a great time. So, here are some pictures from our day of fun!
|Best cake stall ever!|
|Amy from The Sweet Pantry with her goodies!|
|Heart - A Unique Boutique|
|The bustling crowd as we opened|
|Dawn and Sam|
|A young chap with his face painted|
|Cupcake decorating stall by A Little Slice of Paradise|
|Clay Painting with Clay Play|
|Whatever the Date|
|Rebecca Ebbitt from Polka Dots and Pearls with Doris the campervan|
|Sara and Corinne manning the games stall|
|One of the raffle prizes - fruit basket donated by the Salad Bowl Horwich|
Some of the wonderful photos by our friend Janet Broughton...
|Bei AKA 'That Facepainter' hard at work...|
|Jack in Doris the campervan|
|The children from the Temple|
|Lucie, Dawn and I on the cake stall|
Please leave your comments, thoughts, feedback and memories below - we would love to read them!