A HIGHLY successful Rotary Summer Fayre took place in Newton Abbot on Saturday, August 26, writes Newton Abbot Rotarian, Martin Smith.

This was a partnership of Rotary Newton Abbot and Newton Abbot Town Council, supported by the Newton Abbot Carnival Committee.

It was the first Rotary summer fayre, for around 40 years and older town residents will remember the annual rotary fête taking place in the 1980s. The fête was often opened by celebrities performing at the theatre in Torquay.

The run in to the fayre was somewhat hurried as it was only agreed to stage it in late May when it was decided the annual carnival was not going to go ahead. Rotarians sprang into action with the help of the town council to stage the fayre, and offer a summer community event.

A range of entertainment was organised including, 15 charity stalls, a handful of trade stalls, a bouncy castle and refreshment concessions, local acoustic band Three Days of Wonder, a martial arts display and Shining Stars Baton Twirling Display entertained the visitors.

A highlight was the Tano Taiko Japanese Drummers who built up the excitement for the start of the wheelbarrow race and boosted up the flagging teams’ last few laps with a 20-minute performance.

Though there were fewer entries this year just six teams, at the time of this article over £1,000 in sponsorship has been raised for the team charities.

The race was started by ‘Jules’ of the BBC DIYSOS programme, he also judged that Teign Titans Netball Club ‘Barbie’ team were the winners of the £75 first prize for fancy dress.

In fact it was a clean sweep by Teign Titans as their team ‘Lifeguards’ beat ‘Popstars’ by one lap, completing 74 laps of the 220 metre course.

Some of the loudest cheers were for the teams entered by No Limits Café and Meadowside Residential Home who mainly walked the course but gave the participants a great deal of confidence and enjoyment.

Local business Sherwoods, previous winners came in fourth place raising sponsorship for Rowcroft Hospice.

Rotary President Nick Richards with Julian Perryman ‘Jules’ presented the Wheelbarrow Shield to Teign Titans – ‘Lifeguards’ and medals to all the wheelbarrow team members, thanking race organiser Martin Smith and his team of Rotarians and his surprise that Martin managed to complete a couple of laps on behalf of the Meadowside team!

Despite a couple of rain showers, the weather held and there was plenty going on at the charity stalls, the Rotary Human Fruit Machine and Hook A Duck stall were particularly busy throughout the afternoon.

Fayre organiser Rotarian Jane Camp led a team of 20 plus Rotarians and partners making sure the fayre visitors had a good experience and were safe.

She said: ‘I can only thank the team helping me, there was a lot to do whether it was as a safety steward, race marshal or litter picker in true Rotary tradition the volunteers were fantastic – next year it will be earlier in the summer and we will be able to put on an even better event”

President Nick Richards said at the end of the day: ‘I am delighted that we were able to put the day on – given the time frame to organise, it has been a successful event.

‘We will be presenting the money raised by the teams to the charities at the end of September before a Rotary meeting at Dainton Park golf Club.

Rotary Newton Abbot will be volunteering at the Kingkerswell ‘Party in the Park’ and the Widdecombe Fair in early September then regrouping before starting planning for Decembers Santa’s Grotto at Fermoy’s Garden Centre.’