Crowds flocked to Fernhurst in perfect fête weather on Sunday to celebrate the century-old tradition of the crowning of the May Queen and enjoy a packed field of entertainment and stalls.
Erin Haigh, the May Queen, arrived on her decorated trailer accompanied by the attendants, Ella Vigar, Martha Shepherd, Naomi Braithwaite and Bethany Mariner, page boys Callum Wooldridge and Jordon Mariner, crown bearer Neve Marston and the garland bearers Lily Skelton and Cecily Wright.
Riding in a classic car and looking out through the roof were the previous May Queen, Daisy Skelton another attendant, Jenny Melia.
The crowds were five deep around the main arena, waiting for the coronation, where the vicar, the Rev Nick Haigh blessed his daughter – a first in the history of the May Queen.
Erin was crowned by Daisy, then St George, Jack Butlin, found favour with his queen by easily dispatching a fast-running dragon, George Keeley.
The maypole dancers neatly executed one of the more complicated maypole dances and the fancy dress, with many more entrants than normal and of a very high standard, was judged by Annie Barnsdale, Christine Smalley and Sue Hodge.
Winners were Charlie Smethurst, Stewart Bradley, James Nayager, and Mollie and Lottie O’Grady.
There were about 70 classic, vintage and veteran cars and tractors on the green, attracting many an admirer.
Food came from the burgers and sausages of the Scouts, a hog roast, noodle bar, sandwiches made by St Margaret’s, delicious ice creams, a packed cake stall and tea and biscuits.
Children had their faces painted, bobbed for apples, rode the mini train and tried lazer-tag.
All ages had a go at archery with the Petersfield Bowmen, watched bees in the observation box, saw static steam engines and made purchases at the many stalls and in the silent auction.
The dog show attracted record entries and the judge admitted she had to be quite brutal when choosing the best-looking dogs. In a closer-run competition than normal, the dog she most wanted to take home was a labrador called Little May, owned by Anthea Martin Jenkins, as it was in the best condition and was friendly, well behaved and obedient.
Children’s races and games in the other arena included Simple Simon, potato racing, straight running races and musical sacks with two to 12-year-olds, judged by Bob Smalley and Judith Turner.
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