Wickham Church Fete

It was the church fete today, St Nicholas in Wickham. I’m not a member of the church, I just write the crosswords for their parish magazine, and attend the fete. It’s a good traditional fete, cheap books and records, food and drink, raffles, music and best of all a coconut shy. Music, was live country, jolly good, plus there were Morris dancers – Wickham Morris – they are fun.

A cup of tea and a piece of cake to start. Then off to the coconut shy. Three shies for 50p is a good price. Knock a coconut of and you get a can of coke rather than the traditional coconut – the nuts are in short supply and expensive. No worries, I don’t like coconut and coke is not very nice stuff, I just enjoy the throwing at a target.

The only time I throw anything is at the fete so my arm is out of practise. The first three are way off. A walk round the fete and then another go. Better. I knock one down, one can of coke. A tour of the field then another go. Knock two off, both broken, then with another three shies take down another nut. I have enough coke now so decline the offer, the two broken nuts are now mine though…this is a new rule they have introduced…smash the nut and you can have it.

Another tour of the field then a final fling…another coconut shattered…I am already carrying two do decline the newly broken one.

Not too bad – have knocked off 5 coconuts, three of which were smashed. Excellent day’s throwing.

This year it was a bit harder than last year. I am a year older and I must admit that there were a couple of very wayward throws, something I have never done before. The distance we had to throw was much greater than previous years. I did question this…apparently the chap Mark (I think I have remembered his name) who organises the shy measured the distance at a funfair shy and adopted that distance for the church fete shy… it was 12 paces. It took a little getting used to.

Mark has been running the shy for the four years I have been going, probably much longer…and he remembers me from the very first year. I think I am probably the oldest thrower…the trouble is that he tells everyone which is a bit embarrassing when shots go badly awry. ‘You are a legend round here’ he says, haha, hmm I think not. It has something to do with my throwing action apparently – and the power of my throw. Anyway he shakes my hand, he runs an excellent shy and I am happy just to throw at the targets, no prizes necessary, though there is a certain kudos in leaving with two smashed coconuts. I shall have to get a bit of practice in before next year’s fete, those wayward shots are bothering me.

The Morris Men were great as usual. It’s a temptation to join, but I think there would be a conflict with the Hospital Radio, plus I have no aptitude for dance, light on ones feet is not a description that has ever been applied to me.

Roll on next year’s fete…


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