Welcome to autumn: Alverstoke’s Michaelmas fair returns

Alverstoke's Michaelmas Fair attracted crowds again
Alverstoke's Michaelmas Fair attracted crowds again

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RESIDENTS from Gosport, Portsmouth and beyond ventured to Alverstoke village for the return of the popular Michaelmas Fair.

Once again, the Green Road was closed for a day of stalls, dancing, live music and festivities.

Ruby Stanbridge, three, tries to knock down cans to win a prize. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203507006

Ruby Stanbridge, three, tries to knock down cans to win a prize. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203507006

Gosport Rotary Club teamed up with St Mary’s Church to host this year’s festival which featured marching bands, Morris dancers and plenty of food and drink for the crowds.

Diana Bate, of the Women’s Institute, has been attending the event for the past 20 years.

This year, she and 15 others took turns to work on their stall supporting the parish regeneration fund.

Diana said: ‘The fair gives a very positive message. It is absolutely essential to the area. We were selling raffle tickets and raising money for the fund.

1st Lee-On-The-Solent Beavers with some of the biscuits they were selling to raise funds. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203531006

1st Lee-On-The-Solent Beavers with some of the biscuits they were selling to raise funds. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203531006

‘The fair is all about community. People decorated their houses and opened their doors to greet the public.

‘It’s amazing how we fit so much entertainment into such a small place. People travel from far away to visit.’

Crowds were entertained by the marching band as they drummed and marched their way through the village and men from The Gosport Shed choir sang through the afternoon.

Stalls lined the streets selling a variety of local produce including cider, cheese, home-made cakes and knitted items. Charity stalls raised money for organisations including Macmillan.

Mollie, six, and Amalia Lyon, eight, make posies with Anne-Maree Dicker of the Gosport Floral Art Club raising money for GAFIRS. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203542006

Mollie, six, and Amalia Lyon, eight, make posies with Anne-Maree Dicker of the Gosport Floral Art Club raising money for GAFIRS. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203542006

Rotary club member Kenneth Eckersley said: ‘Our big community event has been running for about 27 years. We usually get around 3,000 visitors in the village. It’s so popular we actually have a huge waiting list of businesses wanting to get as tall at the fair, but for health and safety reasons we need enough space for the live music, stalls and children’s activities.

‘We start setting up at 8.30am but preparation began months ago. In two months we will probably start planning next year’s event.

‘The most important thing is that we keep the festival going. It’s a fantastic day for everyone and really brings the community together.’

Singer Katie Rogers entertained the crowds

Singer Katie Rogers entertained the crowds

Sharon Noble, Picatou and Rachel Webber raising money at the village fair.

Sharon Noble, Picatou and Rachel Webber raising money at the village fair.

A magician entertained the crowd

A magician entertained the crowd

Ruth and one-year-old Rey Staybridge enjoy the bouncy castle slide. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203628006

Ruth and one-year-old Rey Staybridge enjoy the bouncy castle slide. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203628006

A view across the fair. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203640006

A view across the fair. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203640006

Members of the Gosport Shed entertained the crowd with their barber shop singing. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203652006

Members of the Gosport Shed entertained the crowd with their barber shop singing. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203652006

Willow, six, Persephone, four, and Oestara Knowle,eight, with Dan Stevens, a Gaffir's cadet, play on the GAFIRS Rib. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203704006

Willow, six, Persephone, four, and Oestara Knowle,eight, with Dan Stevens, a Gaffir's cadet, play on the GAFIRS Rib. Picture Credit: Keith Woodland PPP-170930-203704006