IT’S that time of the year again, Widecombe Fair and Uncle Tom Cobley are back!
The beautiful village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor lies between green fields and high, moorland hills in a sheltered valley on the East side of Dartmoor. Run entirely by volunteers, it chooses a local charity to support every year.
Last year more than £1,000 was presented to Widecombe-in-the-Moor Primary School which happened to be celebrating its 90th year. The school has used the money to improve its outdoor learning environment.
This year the Widecombe Community Hall CIO has been chosen as the Charity of the Year.
They are a small team set up to design, build and eventually manage a brand-new, purpose built and accessible community hall in the heart of the village.
A spokesperson for the fair said: ‘With a main hall for performances, events and sports activities, and a separate space suitable for meetings and smaller groups, our multi-purpose centre will facilitate a wide range of community activities for all ages, whilst generating income to ensure its future sustainability.
‘In a community which is so rural, activities and events are essential to bring the community together and build connections and our new hall will enable this for everyone.
‘The line-up for this year is another fantastic variety of traditional attractions and those that are a bit ‘different’. This year’s main event will be a spectacular Forestry Demonstration.
‘A full day of ring events, featuring cattle, sheep, horses and dog shows, the ever popular terrier racing and vintage farm machinery, will run from 9.30am to 5pm.
‘There aren’t just spectator events. For those of an athletic disposition, the Uncle Tom Cobley downhill race is a real talking point. For those into extreme sports, there is bale tossing followed by the tug of war into the early evening.
‘There is a full day’s line-up of folk musicians from all over the South West, both on the Fair Field, up on the Village Green and in the Garden of The Rugglestone Inn, playing on until late in the evening.
As always at the fair, if you keep your eyes peeled you might spot Uncle Tom Cobley on his grey mare along with his very merry men lending a hand about the field. If you are lucky you may even get your photo taken with him.!
‘Going on throughout the day you will be able to go and visit the sheep and cattle pens as well as the vintage machinery, or take a look around the local handicraft and produce tent to admire the best of what the residents of Widecombe and beyond have come up with as part of their yearly attempts to out-bake or out-grow each other. You can also take a look at the display in the Local History Group marquee.
‘In the village, there is The Café on the Green, The Old Inn, and The Rugglestone Inn serving up delicious food. On the field there will be a great range of local food producers from all over Devon offering everything from Hog Roast to Thai cuisine.’