The first fete was held in 1950 and raised £50
Mrs Trench suggested instead of a jumble sale they should organise a fete.
Lemsford Local History Group has a large archive of images and articles, which we have acquired over the last 14 years. I inherited it from the great and sadly missed Stan Borrie, and have not read all the material or viewed all of the images. This makes looking for requests for information or images a pleasure as I stumble on memories of the parish or images I have never seen before. This happened recently with a selection of images from the 1961 Fete, donated by Dennis Barr and as the fete is only months away It seemed timely to write about the origins of the fete in its 65th year. I am not the first to record the facts about that first fete in 1950 to the public of Lemsford. In 1990 Jack Baswarwick wrote a 40th anniversary article and in 2003 LLHG own Joan Baraclough contributed an article to the Parish magazine. I have used both articles to produce a brief history in the Fetes 65th year.
Need to raise money for the organ fund it was suggested to try a fete.
In 1949 the vicar Rev R.R.F.Rigby resigned and it was a year before the new vicar was inducted. This caused the small congregation to get even smaller and when the Rev K.M. Mitchell was inducted in 1950 he felt the need to increase the congregation. Combined with the need to raise money for the organ fund it was suggested to try a fete. In 1950 a new member to the church , Mrs Trench, who had been engaged by lord Brocket to open up Brocket Hall after its wartime use as a maternity home. Mrs Trench oversaw the cleaning and redecoration of the Hall in preparation for the family’s return. She suggested instead of a jumble sale they should organise a fete. Click here to view Fete website
The first fete was held in 1950 and raised £50. The fetes were held in the field which are now used for archery. Jack Baswarick informs us that the field had to be cleared of cow pats and nettles and the equipment was stored in a shed behind the vicarage, and it had to moved to the field a task made easier by the kind offer of a ‘Welwyn Department Sores’ delivery vehicle.
The late Liz Potter who with her husband Alan ran the fete for many years
We have had a fete every year since and they have got bigger and bigger with the help and support of the church, school and local residents including a very special lady, the late Liz Potter who with her husband Alan ran the fete for many years . The money raised is divided between the church & School and the event is one if not the biggest fetes in Hertfordshire. Paul Butler has taken over from Liz and has proved over the last few years that the fete is in safe hands. The images I found from 1961 shows a smaller, maybe more basic and not as profitable, but it also shows a lot of happy people enjoying the day a message that has continued. As the fete has got bigger the money raised is useful but the real value of the Lemsford fete is bringing the church , school and local community together for a day of fun. To View Gallery from the village website Click here