Despite the heavy rain, Crowborough Hospital fete, organised by the Friends of Crowborough Hospital, took place as usual on Bank Holiday Monday.
The determination of the volunteers who run the fete year in and year out was undeterred by relentless rain and the coldest August bank holiday on record.
Thanks to last minute quick thinking by the fete organiser Ricky Booth, most of the main stalls which would have been outdoors were housed in Grove House, made possible by the good will and support of the hospital estate staff.
Despite an understandable drop-off in attendance compared with last year, the fete raised an amazing £8,250 on the day with more expected to arrive in the next few days. This is a great tribute to the loyal supporters who come every year because of the importance they place on their much loved hospital.
Fete Chairman Ricky Booth said:
Nearly every attraction and stall turned up and what amazed me was the determination and eagerness by everyone to get the fete up and running. I never heard a single suggestion about cancelling the fete and people seemed very philosophical about the weather.
My biggest fear was that nobody would come to support the fete but by 1.45, there they were. Once the doors opened, there appeared to be a constant stream. Yes numbers were down, but the regulars and supporters were there. I wondered what it would take for them not to make their annual pilgrimage, because rain clearly hadn’t deterred them. And they spent generously!
Chairman of the Friends, Chantal Wilson, said:
There was a terrific “can do” atmosphere at the fete with everyone pulling together to make it a success despite the weather. Community spirit was alive and well, showing how much people want to help the hospital and raise money to ensure that its services continue into the future and are well supported with equipment that the Friends buy. My thanks go to the wonderful volunteer helpers who are the unsung heroes who work tirelessly for weeks beforehand to ensure only good quality items are sold at the fete.