Our Harvest Home at East Brent took place on Friday, 26th August 2011. Once again, Ed Champion’s field in Jarvis Lane was the venue where a large marquee housed the 500 or so luncheon guests, servers and helpers. We were fortunate that the days leading up to it were relatively free of rain and the ground inside the marquee remained essentially dry. However, it did rain rather heavily during the lunch but this never dampened the spirit of the day. For the second year, the Burtle Band led the procession to St. Mary’s Church for the thanksgiving service at 11:00 am. The Rev. Simon Lewis being unable to officiate, the Service was led by the East Brent Methodist Minister Rev. Carol Gill who also presided during the lunch.
The traditional lunch of Roast Beef, Salt Beef, Ham, Salads, Beetroot, Pickle and sauces plus beer and cider was served after which and in light rain, helpers walked to the Village Hall to collect the Christmas puddings, harvest loaf and cheese for the famous “Parade of the Puddings”. The puddings were paraded to and around the marquee led by the children of the Village. In particular the East Brent Church School Banner was paraded and presented at top table. The school won the best design for the Diocese of Bath and Wells to celebrate 200 years of Church Schools in England. The children will represent the diocese and take the banner to the National Society 200th Anniversary Celebration Service in Westminster Abbey on 14th October 2011.
Following this the Harvest Loaf and Cheese were paraded around the marquee and the first slice of cheese cut by Carol Gill was thrown to the male helpers. After a bit of diving under and over tables, the one who got the largest piece was awarded a modest cash ‘prize’.
The toasts and speeches then ensued with Councillor Gill Slocombe (Chair, Sedgemoor District Council) proposing the toast for ‘Agriculture and Kindred Industries’. This was responded to by David Kemp of Axe Valley Veterinary Practice who related some of his experiences as a Vet. East Brent Committee Member and Treasurer Russell Dixon proposed the toast to ‘Visitors and Helpers’ which was responded to by Dave Perrett. David has been a beer carrier at the Harvest Home for many years and is very active in organising the “Burnham In Bloom” event. Master of Ceremonies was once again Ray Beckingham who was competing with Spider Thomas for the most decorative waistcoat.
During the lunch, Anne Munchin supervised the raffle assisted by Jim and Annette Berry distinctive in their Union Jack Bowler hats. Cash prizes were awarded to the lucky winners with a few other prizes having been donated. The day event ended with the sales of surplus goods and Highbridge YFC held a Slave Auction where a few hours work of various kinds could be bid for. Prizes were awarded to the makers of the very excellent decorated hoops and baskets. The day-time events ended with Rita Thomas and helpers serving a light tea whilst ‘Molly Muddles’ entertained the children. Unfortunately, the children’s sports had to be abandoned because of the heavy rain. The evening entertainment began at 8:00 pm with the rain still prevalent. The featured band was ‘Kick the Kat’ with the disco provided by JC’s Disco.
Sadly and of immense concern, the evening was affected by behaviour resulting in a Police presence particularly outside the venue. The Harvest Home Committee are actively assisting the Police and Licensing Authority to ensure future evening events are not marred by such incidents. Comments are invited from anyone who were affected and interested in ensuring East Brent Harvest Home provides a successful evening event in the future.
Many thanks to all members of the EBHH Committee, helpers, speakers and everyone else involved in the event no matter how small an amount. The effort necessary to achieve a success of the East Brent’s very special tradition is extensive and requires many people to give up much spare time. Of course, Harvest Home would not be anything without the visitors & guests who sat down to such a hearty lunch and make the event worthwhile.
Look out for announcements in the Community News and other sources. Please put Friday, 24th August 2012 in your diary as the probable date for 2012 - the year of the London Olympics.
Thank you all,