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11th October, 2018.


Nigel Parry welcomed everyone and gave a brief explanation  and history of “Minchinhampton Life”. He explained that Minchinhampton Life was formed to try to co-ordinate events and activities in Minchinhampton and thus to avoid clashes.  It started with a monthly Newsletter which listed all known forthcoming events and it is hoped to restart this in the near future. The website is work in progress but will attempt to embrace all clubs, organisations and businesses, so that a newcomer to the area can access local information easily.   He went on to talk about the Committee’s ambition to re launch the Minchinhampton Country Fayre next year, 2019, and the form it might take but stressed that input and ideas from the audience were needed.

 Alan Vaughan then showed a short film about the Country Fayre with clips from 1967 up to the last one in 2015.  Nigel then introduced Katie Jarvis who has organised the Fayre in the past and Phil McCormick, a resident of Minchinhampton who is part of Glos Arts Council and Minchinhampton Life. 

Representatives attended from  – The Coigne Nursery, PPG, Staffordshire Cottage, Minchinhampton Surgery, the Gardening Club, The Youth Football Club, Holy Trinity Minchinhampton, the Baptist Church, Longfield Hospice, Minchinhampton Primary Academy, Beaudesert School, Scouts, the Market House.  There were apologies from the Stuart Singers, the W and WWG and others.

Katie Jarvis, journalist and travel writer told everyone that proceeds from the Fayre went to local charities.  They averaged an income of  £10,000 and although it was a lot of work and preparation, it was fun and embraced the whole community.  She stressed the importance of having money in the bank to cover costs in case of bad weather.  The way it worked in the past was that local charities sent a representative to join the Committee and, in order to receive payment from the proceeds, helped with practical things.  Stalls and activities were spread from the High Street to the Market Square and the School field.  Some entertainment incurred costs and others free.  The day usually started with a parade – sometimes in costume, and sometimes with a vintage car parade, but always involving children from the local schools.  Logistics are very important, arranging road closure, advertising and publicity, stage and PA system and working out the site map for the event.    John Bingle pointed out that there was a Constitution which included provision of retaining a sum of £1,000 in the Bank for future Fayres.  It was confirmed this was the case and Peta Bunbury has all this in a folder which she will produce. She felt it was important not to have the events spread out too far.

Phil McCormick stressed it was important that we worked out what the Fayre was for.  He has lived in the area for 25 years and is very involved with Glos Arts Council.  He is part of Minchinhampton Life and hoped that this organisation could link everyone in the community.  There is a lot going on in Minchinhampton but no umbrella and ML was started in order to get connectivity.  He provided the Christmas lights in the High Street and sponsored the website. He pointed out that there was as much work in organising an event that raised £10,000 as £100,000.    Did people want the Fayre to be purely a community event or was the emphasis on raising money.  It was agreed that both were essential.  He emphasised that groups would get involved if they were going to get something out of it too and they brought their crowd in.  Is the event just for Minch or should it include the Parish – Amberley, Box and even Nailsworth? He asked what is Minchinhampton’s “thing” – Tetbury has its Wool Race etc.  Cows? His vision was to have an evening event, maybe on the Stuart Fields,amongst other things to attract a younger age group.  There is little in the traditional Fayre to attract the teenagers and youth.  He talked abut a tug of war to include rugby clubs – all of whom would bring 20/30 supporters.   He talked of a one act play festival – he can provide a lot of support and provide staging, lighting and technical help on the day.  Parking was discussed and it was felt it would have to be on the Common as it is with Giffords Circus.  Jo Shepherd suggested we should include new with the old and go carts with cow exteriors were discussed.    It was hoped Di Wall might be involved from the History Group.  Phil has a connection to York – maybe the Mystery Plays could be included.  

A general discussion followed.  Katie felt we should approach Julian Dunkerton from Lucky Onion who is taking over the pub as he is very community minded and maybe open to sponsorship.  We should engage with him early on.  He will bring a different clientele into the village.

Tim Dowds represented Minchinhampton Youth Football Club and he too wants more for the young. He felt they would provide their own music if they were given the support to make it happen.  John Mounsey pointed out Minchinhampton Players were aware of this need too and will be bringing young people into their future events.

A vote was taken and all agreed the Fayre should take the traditional format with new innovations and should include an evening event.  The purpose of the Fayre is to “celebrate our wonderful community” and make as much money as possible for local charities.