THE THREATENING weather on the long-awaited return of outdoor public fun at Bells Piece, Farnham’s Leonard Cheshire home, wasn’t going to spoil the day for residents, staff and visitors to what was heralded a ‘summer’ fete.

The rains came and put paid to much that was planned, but visitors also came, kept coming and stayed – spending on a range of activities and stalls, in buildings and covered spaces outside the house.

Nothing like it had been possible since before the pandemic, which then saw activities end and support evaporate.   

Manager Marilyn Walker and her staff at Bells Piece, and a sister home at Firgrove Hill, worked hard to follow-up a memorable celebration of the King’s coronation in May, and, they planned a revival of the annual summer fete – complete with games, stalls, lots to eat and drink, plus live music in the house grounds.  

The rains brought a hasty change of plan, and whatever was possible to include under cover was set in place, with a raffle and tombola proving to be big winners. And if the event target – to cheer up the house with a new-look residents’ lounge – looked threatened, thanks to everyone £500 was raised.

Mrs Walker was thrilled: “Huge thanks to the staff and friends who helped with preparing the rooms, and who manned the stalls.   What an atmosphere on the day, despite the weather.   Amazing!”  

Her thanks went also to the David Lloyd Leisure at Monkton Lane for providing two free 14-day sessions as prizes, and to all others who made donations for the stalls. Winners of other events were Jim McGuire (weight of the cake); Stewart Taylor (sweets in jar) – prize then donated to Bells Piece; Ray Lusk (name the gorilla), and Mark Cassar (name the dog).

Marilyn added: “This event was just a small affair but we plan for this to grow next year, and expect us to have a fete at Christmas too. Watch this space!”