The last minute cancellation of the Whickham May Fayre resulted in boxes of burgers needing a home. I ended up with one which I put straight into the freezer after helping organisers to take down the marquee and other tents. It was the first time the May Fayre has been cancelled in 20 years but the rain had left the ground in Chase Park, venue for the Fayre, waterlogged. It was very much luck of the draw - this year has been relatively dry but one of the few periods of heavy rain happened to coincide with the Fayre. Last year, which broke records for rainfall, saw the Fayre go ahead.
I now need more space in my freezer as my Tamworth pig went to slaughter over the weekend. So, the box of burgers needed to be used up. As I did not want to eat my way through 40 burgers myself, we decided to have a free BBQ for residents of villages in our ward instead. On Friday we hired Marley Hill Community Centre. Cllr John McClurey brought up his BBQ and we opened the bar as well. Promotion of the event was entirely by email. I sent a message to a few hundred constituents who live in Sunniside and Marley Hill. We got a good response but we were particularly pleased that whole families came along. Some of them set up the kids' play equipment which kept them occupied for some time in the main hall. The appeal of the snooker and darts rooms also pulled in residents. What we discovered by carrying out this event is that there is a demand for a venue where adults can socialise and their kids can play during evenings. This is giving us ideas to get the community centre more widely used on Friday and Saturday evenings.
We have a meeting of the management committee tomorrow so we will discuss how we can run similar events on behalf of the community centre, rather than simply as events put on by us as councillors for our constituents.