Village stocks may be a rarity nowadays – but Fitzhead village boasts a modern, state of the art one, soon to be in use at the upcoming fete on Saturday July 22.
Locals Tom Halstead, pictured, tried it out for size recently and took a drubbing at the hands of (left to right), Talulah Stringer, 10, Lily Archer, 6, Beth Tout, 7, and Daisy Brewerton, 11. With soft sponges though, Tom definitely had it easier than people of bygone times, and was relieved that while his head got soaked, the rest of him stayed perfectly dry!
The stocks were created by fellow villager Martin Irish, after he saw one at a castle and thought it would be a great activity for the annual fete. “We had it last year for the first time and it was tremendously popular, people didn’t stop throwing those sponges all afternoon,” said Martin. The height of the stocks can be adjusted up or down, so that children or adults can go in the contraption and it’s a chance for youngsters to get mum or dad – and of course, vice versa!”
The extremely popular Fitzhead Fete is a highlight of the village calendar, and runs from 2pm – 4.30pm at the Cricket Ground, with free entry and parking.
It traces its history back decades, and has a host of attractions from children’s races and games to a beer tent, brass band performances by Wiveliscombe Town Band to delicious teas with homemade cakes and scones. There will be a traditional flower show tent, a barbecue all afternoon, stalls selling everything from books to clothes, cakes and jams to a prize draw and much more. The fete attracts visitors from miles around, and weather permitting, there will also be a bring-your-own barbecue at 6.30pm.
The following day, Sunday July 23, a Duck Race in aid of fete funds, will take place at 3pm at Holcombe Farm in the village, where delicious cakes and teas will also be on offer in the gardens.