Sidford's perfect day for bank holiday fete

IT WAS the perfect day. After two wet years, Bank Holiday Monday brought the sun and crowds to Sidford rugby ground for the 54th annual sports day and fete organised by Sid Vale Athletic Meeting.

IT WAS the perfect day.

After two wet years, Bank Holiday Monday brought the sun and crowds to Sidford rugby ground for the 54th annual sports day and fete organised by Sid Vale Athletic Meeting.

"It certainly was a bumper day, we just couldn't ask for better weather, it was superb," said a delighted, and relieved, secretary, Marion Perry.

Had this year's afternoon been rained off as in 2008, it could have finished the popular fun event.

Instead more than 1,000 turned out to see the start of the fun run at 2pm and various children's races, ending with the adult tug-of-war.

"At 9am when we went to the hall it was spitting with rain, but by 10am it had cleared up and it was full steam ahead," said Marion, who thanked all those behind Monday's event, from the organising committee, chaired by Andrew Judge, WI ladies running teas in the hall, volunteers on stalls and sponsors; who have already offered backing for 2010, to villagers who supported the day.

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"Without all these people helping you couldn't do it. The whole village must have turned out, from parents and grandparents to youngsters running in the races."

Local councillors were good sports, having wet sponges thrown at them. Councillors Jack Brokenshire, Tony Reed, Ann and Graham Liverton and Stuart Hughes, braved the sponges "and took turns at throwing them at each other," said Marion.

"Children enjoyed our experimental doughnut stall, where they had to eat one of five doughnuts hanging on strings."

There were plenty of stalls for people to peruse and entertainment in the form of the Blackdown Hills Steel Band and Punch and Judy man Colin John, who also performed magic tricks.

The barbecue, sponsored by Long Brothers butchers, Temple Street, ran out of burgers and sausages and by 4pm drinks had run dry and cakes sold.

A cut of profits, when totted up, will go to St Nicholas Junior School's PTA, which supplied helpers again this year, after losing out last year.

Ian Robson from Sidmouth won the Joyce Memorial Trophy in the men's fun run, with Rob Dunford second and William Valentine third.

The ladies' fun run and Spar trophy was won by Debbie Marriott from Sidmouth, and Sam Marriott won the junior fun run trophy.

Other results were:

100 yards (10-11) boys: Jonathan Surtees; girls: Laura Bastyon. 100 yards (12-13) boys: Gregory Shipp; girls: Florence Jarrett.

Relay race (one boy and girl, 15 and under) for Silver Jubilee Cup: Joe Cox and Catherine Surtees.

75 yards (6-7) boys: Jordan Fowler; girls: Chloe Tarling. 75 yards (8-9) boys: Jamie Malec; girls: Georgina Stout.

440 yards open 100 yards (13 and under) for Ingo Simon Trophy: Blake Blackwood.

75 yards (mums): Christine Hellier; 75 yards (boys 9-10): Jamie Malec; 75 yards (girls 9-10): Georgina Stout.

800 yards (boys 12 and under): George Morris.

Dressing up race (8-9): Connor Murphy.

Wheelbarrow race (dad): Dean Gage; Wheelbarrow race (mum): Debbie Marriott.

3-legged race: Bradley Jones/Liam Hayman and Molly Dack/Laura Bastyon;

Miles Ellis and Charlie Adamson-Hammond.

Boys sack race: Jerome Blackburn.

Girls sack race: Emily Vickery.

One mile: Blake Blackwood.

No results were given for the toddler's race and egg and spoon races "because there were eggs flying everywhere," said Marion.

The popular tug-of-war competition for the Palmer Memorial Trophy was won by a team from the Red Lion, Sidbury.

"We also had boys aged 10-11 pulling against girls, all in good spirit," she added. "In all it was a good day and I am sure everyone there enjoyed themselves."

*See the Sidmouth Herald for Simon Horn's photographs of the day.

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