Byfield PTA's 2019 School Fête
50 years ago TODAY (20/07/2019), at seventeen minutes and thirty-nine point nine seconds after nine p.m. British Summer Time, the USA's NASA's "Apollo 11" landed two men from planet Earth on the Moon. This was the day Byfield School's PTA had chosen to hold their annual fête; the theme therefore couldn't be anything else but LAUNCH, especially as they were also officially opening their new assembly hall that afternoon.
However this anniversary weekend didn't start well for us, the idiom "the best laid plans etc." says it all. "Plan A" was to load the car with gazebo and goodies ready for our 15-minute unloading slot on the morrow but hours of heavy rain prevented that. So, to "Plan B". That was foiled by the previous night's rain warping my shed's door and then yours truly breaking the key in the lock! As our gazebo was in there, I had to reflect on "Apollo 11's" lunar module "Eagle", which had been getting very low on fuel by avoiding boulders whilst landing on the Moon, and with no apparent raise in her crew's tension, I followed Neil & Buzz's, AND Corporal Jones' philosophy, "didn't panic" and applied "Plan C" - I just went to my neighbours for help.
Mike and his son Chris had the shed opened in minutes! On arrival at the school "Plan D" was in force; we were directed to set-up in the new hall, so we didn't need our gazebo! I found out afterwards it was considered best for us, as rain was forecast and the PTA had maybe thought because of perceived mobility problems, we wouldn't want to be messing about in the wet. Sweet really, or was it because they needed a gazebo? We willingly donated ours to them for the afternoon.
The event was very well attended and everyone, especially the youngsters seemed to be having fun. It stayed dry and the new hall was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony by a previous head teacher Mrs. Chris Cross. Competitions were held and there was a BIG raffle with LOTS of very good prizes. Our own RBL "draw" was enthusiastically received by the kiddies but I regret to say didn't have the desired effect on their grown-ups, we only took one name who might be interested in joining us. Thankfully, everyone is more than willing to support the Poppy Appeal but very few want to join the RBL. I think we accept we have an image problem, the PTA's concern for our being kept dry a case in point. HOW do we overcome that?
Anyway, here's a few snaps to illustrate the afternoon...
OK, I know they are mostly distance shots, except for the cakes the kids made for the occasion. BUT you may just be able to see there was one thing missing. I "did the rounds" in my rocket-man tabard (one of the little ones won that later) several times during the afternoon to drum-up business for the Legion and observed only the grown-ups had mobile 'phones in their hands, and those seemingly only to take photos. That was VERY refreshing. The kids were everywhere doing physical things, like using their school's climbing wall and strap-hangers to do monkey stuff, participating in the games, dancing, and throwing wet sponges at their friends, who in turn were using a stool to gain enough height to peek through the pillory, which was advertised as stocks - tut-tut history teacher! In days of yore that would have got you in the punishment book, like our illustrious Legionnaire and Poppy Appeal organiser John, who seemed to be getting two strokes of the cane regularly for not doing very much. And to those who think joining the Royal British Legion is a badge of age and infirmity, take a look at that same John in the snap below - that's him, on the day wielding a 6' (nearly 2 metres in modern parlance) wooden trestle table top, which we used on our stand in the hall. John was just into his thirties when men landed on the moon. SO, if you join us, you just might be rejuvenated...