Henhayes Fete commemorated the centenary of the end of the First World War with a parade led by the Crewkerne Branch of the Royal British Legion. The sombre procession included representatives from the Royal British Legion Riders Branch, Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, Avon & Somerset Constabulary and local army cadets, scouts, cubs, beavers and brownies. It was also attended by the mayor, deputy mayor, town criers and their consorts. RBL standard bearer Brian Forster lowered the Legion flag as bugler Mark Barrett sounded the Last Post. In respect to all those who lost their lives in World War 1 and in subsequent wars, a one minute silence was held before a poppy and cornflower wreath was laid at a ‘Rugged Cross Memorial’ by RBL member Terry Austin.
The summer fete, organised by Crewkerne Town Council in association with the Crewkerne Branch of the Royal British Legion was officially opened by Crewkerne Mayor, councillor Kathy Head. Attractions included classic military vehicles, demonstrations of wood carving by chainsaw artist Rob Beckinsale, rescuing passengers from a mock car accident by Crewkerne firefighters and a showcase of artwork by children from St Bartholomew’s and Ashlands schools. The WW1 Art Competition was won by Harry in Wren class and Madeleine in Woodpecker class at St Bartholomew’s and Ashlands for creating a curtain of poppies. Judges were Viv Green and Tony Smith from the RBL, mayor Kathy Head and deputy mayor cllr Robin Pailthorpe who commented that: “It was a difficult task as all the exhibits had been so skillfully created.” Prize winners will receive a £10 book voucher.
Many local organisations manned a stall at the Henhayes Fete, including the recently formed Crewkerne In Bloom. A variety of food and drinks stalls were readily available and music by a local jazz band. Marcus Fysh MP accompanied by town councillor Paul Bradly met up with Crewkerne RBL branch committee members, the army cadets and members of the Royal British Legion Riders Branch. Many shops in Crewkerne took part in the WW1 Odd Object competition, in the week leading up to the main event. The winner of the competition was 2nd Crewkerne Brownies and a £10 meat voucher will be sent to group leader Sarah Langdon.
Secretary of the Crewkerne Branch of the Royal British legion, Alice Samuel said: “Thank you to all the shops in the town who participated in the WW1 Odd Object. I ran out of time to visit all the shops in town but our aim is to repeat the competition at Remembrance, beginning in 2019. We would like to thank Crewkerne town for attending or taking part in the WW1 commemoration fete at Henhayes. It was a wonderful day and the community were very generous to our cause. A big thank you to Roger Bastable, Simon, John Smith and the other military vehicle owners. Special thanks to the Royal British Legion Riders Branch for joining us, St Bartholomew’s and Ashlands schools and Rob Beckinsale who created a beautiful sculpture on the day, which he presented to us. The branch were overwhelmed by his creativity and generosity. Finally, special thanks to deputy town clerk Laura Gowers for allowing the WW1 theme for the fete. It was definitely a day to remember those who fell and gave their lives for us all.”