Saturday, 3 December 2011

Dickensian Fayre, Dinas Powys

Last night (2 Dec), the Twyn (village square) in Dinas Powys was the setting for the annual Dickensian Fayre, organized by The Rotary Club of Dinas Powis to raise money for local charities.

After the freeze and torrential downpours of previous years, the constant rain and above-freezing temperature almost felt like decent weather. However, The Vale of Glamorgan Brass Band were rained off, and so didn’t perform their annual selection of carols. This diminished the Fayre’s pre-Christmas atmosphere considerably, although there was still a reasonable queue of small children and their parents outside Santa’s Grotto.

Plaid Cymru’s soup offering this year was Tomato and Vegetable (with the weather and economic climate there was something of the soup kitchen about their stall). Meanwhile, the Conservatives were doing their usual mulled wine. I have never tasted their mulled wine (as a matter of principle), but fortunately the Rotary Club were also serving it and this was strong, fruity and warming. They were also selling stollen cake and large gingerbread men, while Rotary Club members were busy on the nearby BBQs cooking hot dogs and burgers.

Anne’s owls4u were raising money for rescued owls and other birds by selling cakes and other items. The beautiful owls being walked around were taking everything in. The coconut shy opposite was a popular attraction.

Dinas Powys Infants School were raising money selling drinks, crisps and sweets. Dinas Powys and Llandough Guides were selling their usual chocolate brownies, while the Scouts had Welsh cakes and snacks for sale. We won a Billie Holiday CD box set on the Scouts’ tombola, but had less success on the Cricket Club’s drinks tombola. The W.I., as you would expect, had an attractive range of cakes for sale.

Geraint Roberts set up his bread stall at the Fayre for the first time. Geraint has started a bread subscription scheme in the village, where artisan sourdough loaves can be ordered on a weekly basis. Panettone, the sweet Milanese Christmas bread, was the seasonal special on offer.

There was the odd Top Hat, but little dressing up this year. I believe this event started in the 1980s [correct me if I’m wrong] and, while the connection with Dickens is a bit tenuous (he wrote Christmas stories), it has become an important date in the calendar for Dinas Powys residents.

The event ended before 8.30pm, by which time the wet crowd was either drying out at home or in one of the village’s remaining pubs (The Star, The Three Horseshoes or The Cross Keys), which are all clustered around The Twyn.

Incidentally, the two spellings in the opening sentence are both correct (‘Powis’ is the now less-frequently used English version of the original 'Powys').

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