Give the vicar a soaking in the stocks at Portsmouth fete

The Rev Paul Armstead in the stocks at last year's fete
The Rev Paul Armstead in the stocks at last year's fete
HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

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The Rev Paul Armstead, vicar, St James, Milton, will suffer humiliation at the hands of revellers and their wet sponges as residents celebrate the arrival of summer

DARE I suggest that summer has now arrived?

Here at Milton we don’t need the weather to tell us that summer is upon us – although it does help enormously.

We know it is time for the community to start celebrating summer when we have the Picnic on the Green and St James’s summer fete to look forward to.

Both are long-established moments for the people of the area to gather and celebrate what being part of this neighbourhood means.

Firstly, this Saturday, we will gather on St James’s Green, Locksway Road, for Milton Neighbourhood Forum’s afternoon of fun from 2pm-5pm to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday with a red, white and blue theme.

Come and meet balloon modeller Mr Tall who will entertain children of all ages. As well as the usual range of stalls representing local craftspeople and charities, there will be races for the children, bouncy castles, refreshments, ice creams and face-painting.

Rowlands Pharmacy will be providing health checks and the Pompey Pluckers will entertain.

The beautiful but rarely seen St James’s Chapel will be open throughout the afternoon and Brian Kidd will open the event and offer a gardeners’ question time until 3pm.

The lord mayor is expected and we shall also have a dog show managed by Justin of Vets for Pets.

On the following Saturday (June 18) it is my turn to be the host as we welcome the community to St James’s Church, Milton Road, for our summer fete (10.30am to 1.30pm). You will find all you would expect at a ‘village’ church fete.

Trinity Brass Concert Ensemble will play in the morning as we peruse the stalls, sample the refreshments and even succumb to the temptation to throw wet sponges at me, the vicar, as I get into the stocks again!

The church is open and provides an opportunity for us to explore this wonderful space.

Summer has arrived and what better way to celebrate than to be together as a community and share what we love as Miltonians – the people we live alongside.