Winchester fete enjoys day in the sun

Andover Advertiser: Children enjoy a day out at St Cross Fete Children enjoy a day out at St Cross Fete

ORGANISERS of possibly Hampshire’s oldest village fete certainly have luck on their side – or maybe something more.

The Hospital of St Cross has been hosting a summer fair for more than 120 years, and once again enjoyed spectacular sunny weather last Saturday (June 29).

John Pringle, one of the organisers, suggested the good weather might be down to the prayers of the monks who live there.

Either way, around 3,000 people visited the medieval almshouse to enjoy a variety of fun and games, from a mini-locomotive train for children to Morris dancing.

Mr Pringle said: “We try to raise money to support local charities while some of it goes to the parish and to support the church, but the main object of the fete is to get a lot of people to have fun in the community.

“Luckily we have a large team of volunteers who put in a fantastic effort to pull this off.”

Guest of honour for the day was novelist Patrick Gale, who went to school in Winchester and whose mother still lives near St Cross.

Mr Gale, no stranger to the hospital during his days at Winchester College, said: “My mother still comes here every day to see the lovely gardens. I used to come here all the time as a little boy; it’s wonderful.

“But it makes me feel extremely guilty to be here because I mentioned St Cross in one of my novels but not the fete, so I feel I will have to come back to it in a future book.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust was also on site to show off the wildlife of the nearby water meadows.

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