Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Gala Week 2009 in Budleigh Salterton

Every year Brewster, our US sister-town, has its Brewster in Bloom weekend in early May, an event which has grown over the last 23 years from the original idea of a daffodil festival to a wonderful three-day celebration of spring. http://www.brewsterinbloom.org/
And Budleigh Salterton has its annual Gala Week at the end of May.

This year’s runs from Saturday 23 to Sunday 31 May. For the ninth year running Cancer Research UK opened Gala Week by providing THE BIG BUDLEIGH BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH in the Public Hall. The Budleigh Gala Week is organised by Budleigh Salterton Lions Club. See more information about the Lions at http://www.budleighlions.org/

The popular children's procession through the town on the first day started at the Temple Methodist Church on Fore Street, led by Budleigh’s Fire Brigade.

Well-drilled cheerleaders put on an impressive display as they process past The Feathers Hotel on the High Street.

The royal coach carrying the Gala Week royal family passes the Public Hall on its way to The Green. The coronation ceremony, which included for the first time ever a king, queen, prince and princess was conducted by the Reverend Jonathan Froggatt, who went on to open the fete.

I don’t know what she was doing in the procession, but anyway she added an authentic touch to Budleigh at its quaintest. Maybe she was the royal nanny.

In the Public Hall next to The Green they were serving Devon cream teas to raise funds for FORCE http://www.forcecancercharity.co.uk/ a Devon-based charity committed to people whose lives are affected by cancer. Originally set up in 1987 to fund local cancer research, the Charity has expanded to serve the rapidly changing world of cancer services at a local level. Why local? Simply because anyone diagnosed with cancer deserves the best possible treatment and professional support close to home.

On the Green itself families gathered to watch the displays and visit stalls representing the many Budleigh societies. As well as the teas there was face painting and a bouncy castle. Gala Week included a young pirates' treasure hunt and the popular pedigree and novelty dog show. There have been competitions throughout the week for young cyclists, pavement artists and beach fishermen, dog agility classes, a family treasure hunt, art and craft sessions, and a host of musical entertainment and cookery demonstrations. The Shandford residential care home has held its popular coffee morning and the Public Hall has seen a table top flea market. Budleigh Salterton Games Club has given wannabe bowlers and croquet players the chance to try the games for free.

Displays on The Green continued during the afternoon with the cheerleaders followed by the baton twirlers.

The many stalls gave visitors the chance to bag a bargain while donating to local good causes. The ladies from Budleigh’s St Peter’s parish church were there.

So were the volunteers from Fairlynch Museum, offering plants and other items for sale. The Museum’s 2009 displays include the designs of Zandra Rhodes, embroidery and lace, the history of Budleigh Salterton and the Jurassic coast.

There was a chance to catch up on gossip for the stall volunteers between sales.

Budleigh Salterton Badminton Club raised funds for Devon-based Hospiscare http://www.hospiscare.co.uk/

For visitors and helpers like these young mothers from Budleigh St Peter’s School Association it was a fun afternoon.

And best of all the ‘royal nanny’ didn’t need to use that umbrella because it was a glorious summer afternoon in sunny Budleigh Salterton.

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