Villagers support fun day fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 09:19 21 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:33 18 June 2010

VILLAGERS turned out by the dozen to support a coffee morning aimed at preserving one of Sidford s major fun events. Last week the Sidmouth Herald highlighted the need for Sid Vale Athletic Meeting to raise £600 to ensure the future of its annual family

VILLAGERS turned out by the dozen to support a coffee morning aimed at preserving one of Sidford's major fun events.

Last week the Sidmouth Herald highlighted the need for Sid Vale Athletic Meeting to raise £600 to ensure the future of its annual family fun day and sports event on Spring Bank Holiday Monday in May.

Last year's event was a washout and had to be cancelled at the last minute, losing £600, which is needed to help run this year's day.

On Saturday 80 villagers showed their support for its continuation by taking part in a coffee morning at Sidford Social Hall organised by secretary Marion Perry.

She said: "I am really pleased with the number of people that came. It exceeded my expectations and we raised £230.

"I think a lot of them read about it in the Herald and hadn't realised what the situation was.

"People brought in cakes and bric-a-brac to sell, and the WI supported us, making cakes. I will be holding another in April and I hope we can do as well then."

She said many older people who live by the sports field where the fun day is held, enjoy watching the races and other activities and would miss it.

Sid Vale Athletic Meeting was formed in 1956 and Derek Marchant, was secretary from 1959 until Marion took over three years ago.

He has a treasured programme of the fun day's Silver Jubilee in 1981, when Gillian Miles of BBC's Spotlight South West presented prizes in the fancy dress parade.

That year there was lots on offer, beginning with preliminary rounds of five-a-side football held over two days, a dance and meal on the Friday evening, then a fancy dress parade on Saturday afternoon, with children parading from St Peter's Church to the recreation ground.

This was followed by an evening barn dance before Monday's main sports day and fete.

"John Davey was the first president and Bunny Palmer was founder of Sid Vale Athletic Meeting and secretary and treasurer until his death," said Mr Marchant.

The programme described Mr Palmer as "a keen sportsman" who felt younger members of the community should be encouraged to take an interest in athletics.

"With the passing of the years the emphasis has switched from pure athletics to the kind of sports and fete format which is familiar to everyone today."

End

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