The very first Farmgate Festival was held at the end of November. This was an initiative by my fellow councillor , Carol Bracken, and I was part of the organising committee. Around 15 farms and wineries, some not normally open to the public, gave tours and tastings over a slightly damp weekend. It was a fantastic success - and farms are keen to participate in the 2018 event. A festival dinner was held at Velo, featuring Massimo Mele as celebrity chef and utilising local produce - this event sold out early - so be prepared for the next Festival!
Gill and I organised the annual Christmas with Friends at the Exeter Rec Centre on Christmas Day. This is an annual event funded by your council - for those who might be alone or away from family. Last year I was the barman and the year before in the kitchen - so I have been promoted. Over 60 people attended and were entertained with carols by the talented singer Stephanie Quinn and her dad on the trumpet. Kerry Quinn in the kitchen served up a great meal and Kerry Finch on the mike was our wonderful MC.
There was a few lucky door prizes and everyone got a bunch of lilies to take home (my son-in-law, Rob Sadler, has a lily farm and kindly donated these.)
This year we organised lifts for the people who didn't have transport - this really worked out well as I had to take one gentleman to Holwell and a lady to Legana and by the time I got back to Exeter all the washing up and clearing had been done!
Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped Gill and I make it a great event.
To go from an almost unused facility a mere 6 months ago to the busiest community hall in the municipality is an amazing achievement and it's all due to the local community pulling together to save this beautiful hall. Gill and I attended the Festival of Small Halls this weekend and it was fantastic to see the hall in action again. The professional artists were very good but my favourite was actually the local amateur band - the Bowen Jetty Band - well done!
Council will continue to support this hall - over the last few months we've varnished the floor and installed heaters in the supper room - and there's more to come.