We had exactly 100 entries of marmalade, the last coming in just as the deadline closed, which, for a first event was incredible; men, women & children had equally turned their hand to marmalade making.
The display of marmalade and the paintings of ‘Orlando the Marmalade Cat’ by children from Thorndon & Occold Schools meant the church looked beautifully decorated. Then we had Nicky Hoewener-Townsend’s lovely display of handmade lace in front of the altar, with Nicky, her husband and Carol Lewis all demonstrating the intricacies of bobbin lace making. Eye was an area noted for its handmade border lace and indeed a lace maker lived, and probably worked, in Thorndon in the 19thC.The weather was miserable before the event and has been horrendous ever since, so we can count ourselves extremely lucky to have had such nice day (discounting a couple of spatterings of rain) for the Marmalade Festival. Someone was looking after us, but as the dismantling started, that same person said ‘Well, you’ve had your fun, it’s back to normal again’ and, on cue, it poured with rain!
On the Church path and out on the meadow was a range of quality stalls, ranging from women’s clothing to ceramics. The Refreshments never ran out of cakes, thanks to the donations made by Thorndon’s generous cake makers. The BBQ was kept very busy, as was an Artisan ice cream maker, who had made a special ice cream for the event using homemade Ginger Marmalade. A list of all the stallholders can be found here.
After the Official Opening by local actress Helen Fraser (of ITVs Bad Girls) The entertainment started off with a Maypole Dance by Thorndon School children, followed by their Ukelele Band accompanying Jo Sewell singing The Beatles ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’.
Then came the turn of the Eye Karate Display team. They put on a great show, culminating in a broomstick being broken across the stomach of one of the adult performers. Ouch!
The highlight of the entertainment was the Lowestoft Dog Agility Display Team, who gave a real fun show to remember. Dogs, handlers and the audience all enjoyed the obstacles and fiery hoops that had to be negotiated, with much tail wagging from the dogs.
During the afternoon we had a visit from Dan Poulter MP who visited nearly all of the stalls, only having to by-pass the ice cream stall because it was so busy!
The Bouncy Castle was kept very busy and thanks go to Walter Pyett-Reeve of Zebedee Castles who so generously donated the use of the castle and to Nico & his girlfriend who manned it all day.
The Grand Raffle was run by Sue Edwards, who managed to raise £1141, all prizes being donated. Helen Fraser once again did the honours of presenting the raffle prizes and marmalade competition. The lucky winner of the Panasonic TV was an ecstatic Vicky Elliston! Carole Lee from East Harling was the delighted gold winner of two categories - Thin cut Seville & Citrus marmalade.
We estimated that around 600 people attended, from as far afield as Norwich and Cambridge. St John Ambulance volunteers were in attendance and were troubled by no more than a nose bleed and reports back from people were that everybody had a great time.
The event couldn’t have taken place without the kind permission of Ivan and Margaret Attwood and the Thorndon Town Trust in the use of the meadow.