Youngsters help organise fun day at historic hall

WISE Rachel Norris, nine, with a barn owl at Merchistoun Hall, Horndean. Pictures: Paul Jacobs (122843-3)
WISE Rachel Norris, nine, with a barn owl at Merchistoun Hall, Horndean. Pictures: Paul Jacobs (122843-3)
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AN HISTORIC hall played host to a summer fair which saw 50s rockers mixing with falcons, and more traditional stalls.

The event at Merchistoun Hall in Horndean was organised by youngsters from the hall’s holiday arts workshops.

MINIATURE Autumn Smith, eight, looks at the model train on display. (122843-4)

MINIATURE Autumn Smith, eight, looks at the model train on display. (122843-4)

Tamara Banks, who runs the workshops, said: ‘There’s a group called The Crew, they’re all young volunteers, and they came up with the event and organised everything.

‘They’ve done a great job.’

Rock and roll singer Russ Sainty, 76, was invited along to open the fete.

Russ, from Hayling Island, said: ‘We thought it was going to be thunderstorms and all that, but it’s held off.

‘I like to do things locally and that’s what it’s all about now for me, particularly at this stage in my life.

‘They’ve looked after us very well, and it was a pleasure to open the event.’

Wally Browne, from Leigh Park was there with his birds of prey, which proved a hit with the youngsters.

He said: ‘I’m interested in falconry and bringing it to people, and I also like to promote preservation, so this is a great way to get that across.’

Autumn Smith, eight, from Cowplain, said: ‘It’s been fun. I liked the bouncy castle and the falcons.’

WHAT’S ON TOMORROW

· Kids can get crafty with a puppet-making workshop by Port Solent Kidz Club. Just drop in for free at The Boardwalk in Port Solent from 11am to 4pm.

· There are Paralympic-themed sports taster sessions and displays, building up excitement and awareness of the games, which start today. The free event runs in Guildhall Square from noon to 2pm.

· Children can burn off energy and have fun at the Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre in Alex Way, North End. Book in advance on (023) 9266 0589, and entry is £4.20 per child.

· Steve Tasane will be bringing storytelling fun to the City Museum in Museum Road, Old Portsmouth. There will also be family arts and crafts from noon to 2pm.

· There’s a mini-carnival at the Historic Dockyards in Old Portsmouth to celebrate Brazil hosting the 2016 Olympics. Kids can make masks and shakers and learn about the country from 11am to 1pm or 2pm to 4pm. Just drop in.

· Younger children, from three to five, can try trampolining at the Mountbatten Leisure Centre in Alexandra Park. It runs from 1pm to 2pm and costs £4.85 per child.