Success at the Village Fete

As I sit and write, the January rain is pouring down from dull and grey cloud-filled skies, through bare, damp and dripping trees onto sodden and waterlogged land below - squelch squelch, splash splash!. The relief of spring and then onto summer seems an age away, but they will be here with us quicker than we know it.

And as thoughts drift to summer, what could be more typical of a English summer than a good old fashioned village fete; homemade cakes, homemade jams of all varieties , the tombola, tug-o-war, arts and crafts, hanging baskets and flower arrangements and picnic lunches on blankets, ah yes, that's summer.

Let us not forget also the competitive aspects of these village events, for some of our ancestors were highly skilled and fiercely competitive in the worlds of vegetable growing and cake making you know!

Let's step back almost 90 years, and in the wonderful photograph below kindly shared by Linda Tomline we she her Grandparents (Mr and Mrs Rogers (nee Oliver)) with other villagers at the 1926 Hanborough Flower Show - Linda's Grandmother is central holding what looks like a plate of vegetables, and her Grandfather is proudly holding aloft what must be a prize winning tart or pie above the wheel barrow.

The village shows were always well reported in the locals newspaper, and as we can see in the Witney Gazette from around the time of the above photograph, Mr and Mrs Rogers were accustomed to picking up the odd prize or 6!

Mrs Rogers can be seen here winning the Beef Steak Pie and Fruit Tart categories:

Mr Rogers can also be seen below doing rather well in a number of vegetable categories, and indeed winning the Parsnip, Celery, Shallots and Collection of Vegetable categories:

Well done both!

But honestly, I think its little snippets of family history like this that are really priceless and give us fabulous little glimpses into the lives and times of those that have been before us - and of course, anyone who has attended an Oliver Family History day will know that Mrs Rogers' culinary skills have certainly been handed down through the generations to Linda and her sister Janet - both produce mightily fine cakes, yum!