In total contrast to last year, when the heavens seemed intent on spoiling the day except for those who had brought protection from the rain, the sun was kind to the organisers and showed its face throughout most of the afternoon.
A large crowd of 2-3,000 people took full advantage of the warm weather to enjoy a collection of bands playing from two stages in Wivenhoe's King George V Playing Field. The rest of Wivenhoe found that they could stay at home and still enjoy the music but missed out on the good-natured atmosphere engendered by a combination of the sun and the music.
This year the May Fair had a theme of World Peace, Freedom and Sunshine (please!) reflected in canvasses which were displayed and auctioned on the day by local artists engaged in a project entitled "World Peace, Freedom, Beauty, Truth and Love". We supported charities including Warchild, the Red Cross, Mines Advisory Group (who are helping dispose of landmines in Iraq) as well as AID Africa. Additionally the May Fair Committee paid a tree surgeon to attend to the seat tree "Evergreen Oak" on the playing field and replaced the seat circling it with a wider one.
As usual the event promised a rich selection of music, craft and food stalls, a beer tent and activities for all the family, including a bouncy castle, banner painting and roundabout for the kids. This year there was be a prize for the child who turns up in the best fairytale costume on the day. There was also be a display of flags and kites arranged by local resident Margaret Watkins.
Bands playing on the day included Mahoney (country-rock), Parnell Deception (heavy), Hobo Chang, The Scoobs, Jelly Bag, Hide and Audrey II. Jenny Darnen and the Voices for Peace (Colchester Institute) also appeared on the acoustic stage. As with last year, there was be a dance tent arranged by Mangled, along with an array of local DJ talent. The girls from the Wilson Marriage School of Dance also be performed.
On 3rd May there was a benefit gig with members of Dog Friendly at Molly Malones to help raise money for the big day. Thanks to Duchy the landlord for allowing us to use this venue.
The May Fair is a non-profit making free festival, which, once experienced seems to have a special place in people's hearts.
This year there was a minute's silence at 3pm out of respect for Wivenhoe Councillor Bob Richardson who tragically died on 5th April. The May Fair committee are all deeply saddened by this loss, and thank Bob and Jan for the help and support they have consistently shown us over the years.
Taken from the Wivenhoe Encyclopedia
Photos by Ian Narbeth