Hollingbourne Summer Fete opens in pouring rain but continues in sunshine.

Today’s Annual Hollingbourne Summer Fete and Exemption Dog Show opened at 1pm in pouring  rain and heavy winds which stopped at about 2pm as the sun came out. Only a small handful of residents braved the opening of the Fete at 1pm by Jim Findlay MBE because of the bad weather which meant that the stall gazebos that had been erected had to weighted in order to stop them blowing away. The organisers led by David Ardley of the Fete Committee had expected only a little rain with the promise of sunshine later in the afternoon. In the event the rain was torrential and some of the Arena events had to be rearranged or cancelled.   

Jim Findlay, who received his MBE in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the Hollingbourne community, opened the Fete after an introduction by Andrew Snowdon who has been the Fete Compere for many years. Jim Findlay, who has recently retired from the post of All Saints’ Churchwarden and many other local offices, is shortly to move from Broad Street with his wife Carole, who edits the Hollingbourne Parish Magazine.

As soon as the rain stopped and the sky cleared, hundreds of people started arriving for the event which is held on the Lance Memorial Playing Field each year.

Unfortunately the good weather did not last and heavy rain returned with the event ending earlier than in previous years when there has been generally good weather.

The prize for the Best Stall was won by Hollingbourne Women’s Institute and the judges were Jim Findlay, Helen Bradley-Wyatt of Hollingbourne County Primary School, and Parish Councillor John Cobbett.

The provisional date for the 2020 event is 6th June and this will be confirmed in due course by Hollingbourne Parish Council.

Some pictures of the day appear below.

Jim Findlay opening the 2019 Summer Fete in pouring rain with Andrew Snowdon and Bracken.


Members of the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust Car Park Team at the 2019 Summer Fete. Left to right Ivor, Andy, Alan, and Jason.


Beccy Stroud serving at the bar at the 2019 Summer Fete.


Parish Clerk Vicki Smith and Parish Councillor Andrea Marshall on the barbecue stall.


The WI Stall who won the Best Stall prize 2019.


Edna Readman on the Sugar and Spice Stall at the 2019 Fete.


The prettiest girl class in the Dog Show which was judged by Sharon Farrington of the Large Breeds Rescue charity.


Sarah Ward on the Hollingbourne Brownies Stall at the 2019 Fete.

Members of the Maidstone Steam Punk group on their stall before doing an arena display at the 2019 Fete.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Stall at the 2019 Fete.

Hollingbourne chimney sweep Peter Walsh demonstrating one of his electric brushes.


Ben Williams and Allan Smedley in the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust tent at the 2019 Fete.


The pupils of Hollingbourne County Primary School maypole dancing when the sun eventually came out.


Some of the crowd after the sun arrived at the 2019 Fete.


A number of classic car owners were invited to bring their cars to the Fete. Owing to the bad weather only this one turned up.


A general view of the Fete with the dog show ongoing and the Cardwell Pavilion in the distance where teas were served.


The almost full car park once the sun came out at the 2019 Fete.