Rain Holds Off For Bryher Fete

Boatloads of visitors and locals from all the islands headed to Bryher yesterday for the annual fete.

And those going along got to rifle through bric-a-brac, books, buy cakes or bounce on the bouncy castle.

The traditional dunk-a-hunk proved popular too and people paid to try and hit a target that triggered the pouring of cold water on a local lad sitting beneath the bucket.

Funds raised will go towards the islands’ community centre, which opened in 2010. The project cost around £400,000 and there’s £15,000 outstanding.

Kathy Stedeford says they are determined to pay off the project costs by the end of the year so locals can have their loans repaid. They were hoping to raise £7,000 from the fete yesterday.

They’ve also been innovative in their fundraising throughout the year including islanders charging for their catering services for the visit to Bryher by Charles and Camilla in July, which added £2,000 to funds.

This was Issy Tibbs’ first Bryher fete for 6 years. She’s returned to live on the island and joined the fete committee to help with posters and to look after a stall. She described the day’s events as “brilliant fun.”

And she said it’s a great opportunity for visitors to see the community spirit on Bryher and how proud the residents are of their island.

Rob Lea says a massive effort went into getting raffle items, which range from Star Castle stays and Skybus tickets to fish and chip meals on St Martin’s. He said the organisation started six weeks ago and the committee are incredibly grateful for people’s generosity.

Kathy said it was a relief waking up to sunshine yesterday. The previous year there were heavy downpours and that can spoil the day and waste hours of preparation.

And she admitted there’s some friendly rivalry between the off-island fetes and the good causes they fund tend to benefit.

See our photos of the Bryher fete here.