Havant Mayor is set to get a soaking at show

FUN Mayor Ken Smith gets an 'imaginary' soaking from Rev David Proud to launch the Bedhampton Summer Show.     Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112293-4)
FUN Mayor Ken Smith gets an 'imaginary' soaking from Rev David Proud to launch the Bedhampton Summer Show. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112293-4)
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ON this occasion, Havant Mayor Ken Smith avoids getting a soaking.

But on Saturday he will certainly get wet as he volunteers to be put in the stocks for a summer fair.

Hundreds will gather at Bidbury Mead for the Bedhampton Summer Show this weekend.

The theme this year is medieval and visitors are being invited to dress up in cloaks, tattered rags and straw hats.

Cllr Smith will be opening the show and has agreed to be pelted with wet sponges on a medieval pillory, which has been made from oak by the show’s organisers.

‘This is always a good occasion and I am looking forward to opening this year’s show,’ said the Mayor, who practised being a target this week – but with dry sponges.

‘When they asked me to take a turn in the pillory I was ready to play my part and said yes to add to the fun and games.

‘Now I have seen it I am wondering why I agreed, but maybe it is right that politicians are pilloried from time to time!’

Arena events will include a falconry display and dance shows, together with the regular children’s fancy dress contest and novelty races.

There will be a range of stalls to browse around with prizes on offer, including one for the best dressed person.

People will be able to wander around the historic St Thomas Church, which features a Norman Arch and ancient yew trees.

Ron Tate, who sits on the show committee, said the medieval theme was perfect considering the area’s heritage.

He said: ‘We have a church that was mentioned in the Domesday Book, we have a manor house and a number of other significant buildings. The church must be one of the oldest buildings in the Havant area.’

The Rev David Proud, Bedhampton Rector, has also gamely volunteered himself for the pillory.

He said: ‘I am hoping for a warm day so that it will be good to cool off. It’s great that the whole community comes together to raise funds to support a range of local causes, including the upkeep of our two churches.’

The show starts at 2pm and is free.