There’s Cowes Week - and there’s the udder one

Rick Barter (right), who owns The Book Shop in Lee on the Solent leads fellow Lee business association members as they plan a week of fun at the start of 'Cows Week''''Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (132180-3)
Rick Barter (right), who owns The Book Shop in Lee on the Solent leads fellow Lee business association members as they plan a week of fun at the start of 'Cows Week''''Picture: Ian Hargreaves (132180-3)

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AS THOUSANDS of sailors compete in a hugely competitive annual regatta, Lee-on-the-Solent is taking itself much less seriously.

Today may mark the fourth day of Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight, but Lee Business Association is celebrating its own ‘Cows Week’.

The association’s inaugural bovine-themed eight-day celebration has its tongue firmly in its collective cheek as it offers activities loosely based on cattle.

People are invited to enjoy the all-week creative writing competition, ‘amoosing anecdotes’, and an ‘udderly fabulous fashion show’, run by independent boutiques tomorrow.

And to top it off, on Saturday classic motorcycles and Minis will parade down Lee’s High Street.

Rick Barter is the co-ordinator of the Lee Business Association and runs 80-year-old The Book Shop in the town’s High Street.

He said: ‘For me the key to the week is hopefully everyone will be in a good mood.

‘It may have originally been mine but it’s an idea we’ve been kicking around for years.

‘It’s fun to do something a bit different this year.

‘We have a local artist who has a cow character and cows are cute. It just made sense.

‘It’s an excuse to have some fun. We represent all the local businesses here.

‘You see so many of the local high streets struggling. This is to get out the serious message that the high street is here. It’s a fantastic place to go for a day out.’

Rick added people in the town always enjoy the regatta and that the town is the best place to watch the fireworks on Friday.

The association has planned a community event on the seafront on Friday, with a hog roast, live music and a viewpoint to watch the fireworks. It will also celebrate 25 years of the high street’s greengrocer and fruiterer.

More than 45 businesses from the groups are working together to celebrate.

That includes The Book Shop running the writing competition and The Fish Deli hosting the week-long raffle draw on Saturday.

Emma’s, Perfect Silhouette and The Shoe Deck are co-organising the fashion show.

Rick added: ‘It was a conscious decision not to have a mega event like a market, but instead to spread out as a week for the local community, and to spread to the broader community that in this era of struggling high streets, we have one and it’s good.

‘It’s a combination of having something fun for the local people but also giving people who don’t know Lee an excuse to come down and find out what a fantastic seaside location we have.’

For more, visit leebookshop.co.uk/leebusinessassociation.