By Kate Fleming
The Independent State of Cuckfield’s Cuckoo Fayre took place again on Bank Holiday Monday 1st May, as it has done for the last 50 years.
Volunteers from The Independent State gathered in the early morning to prepare the Recreation Ground for the stalls and events that make this Fayre unique and community-centred.
With bacon rolls and hot drinks to power them on under ominous grey skies, the volunteers transformed the Rec into a thriving fayre where local charities and organisations could promote their good causes and sell their produce.
Most of these have been at the Fayre for years and are very much part of the scene, but this year new ones appeared. Dame Vera Lynn Charity for Children was there and the Tennis Club stall proudly revealed its refurbished courts.
The central arena was roped off and ready for the best of local entertainment and the great folk music of the Village Band. Children’s entertainer Tomfoolery also used this space to captivate large numbers of children and their parents, with his magic and fun inviting and encouraging participation, generating riveting excitement.
Despite the bad weather forecast, the predicted rain mostly held off. And when Wilf Knighton, Mayor of The Independent State of Cuckfield, arrived in a classy 1934 Alvis Firefly the sun even made an appearance, prompting his female chauffeur to declare: “The sun shines on the righteous.”
During the busy fun-filled afternoon a flyer was distributed warning us the Cuckoo Fayre might not be able to continue due to lack of people willing to take over the responsibility of organising and running the Fayre.
A number of the long serving members are retiring and wish to hand the baton to the new generation. This has been a planned process and has revealed a new and exciting influx of 21st-century committee members and volunteers, but The Cuckoo Fayre remains shaky, in need of energy and organisational skills to sustain and develop this delightful and valuable village Springtime event.
Full article printed in June 2017s issue of Cuckfield Life