It is always nice that Shefford Bowls Club holds its annual ‘Finals’ Weekend  event during the Community Festival – this year it was on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th September  – members had been competing all year in numerous Club competitions which cumulated in 4 sessions to establish the trophy winners.

Many spectators were treated to some great competitive bowling, in largely warm and sunny weather, along with free Coffee and Cake – plus being able to watch the stand out performances from Chris Hogan and Kay Evans with 3 Winners and 1 Finalist each.

We understand that the club is actively seeking new members to join in with this game of skill and strategy – plus to enjoy the social life which has been at the centre of the Shefford community for many years. Contact the Secretary at Shefford Bowls Club on 07708640396 or email: [email protected].

christmas lights cheque

Each year Shefford enjoys a double act of Garage Sale Trail plus Scarecrow Festival over the same weekend as part of the Community Festival – and each year Lesley Whiteman ( who organises the Garage Sale Trail alongside Country Properties ) collects the stall fees and donates them to the Christmas Lights committee as a contribution to keep December cheerful!

So this is what Lesley had to say about this year’s event:-

“A massive thank you to all who supported the Shefford Garage Sale Trail – everyone who was on the trail sheet (and a few late entrants) contributed £5, which amounted to a fabulous £190 and I had the pleasure of presenting this to the incredibly hardworking Laura from the Shefford Christmas Lights committee.

This brings the total that our Shefford Garage Sale Trail has raised over the past 6 years to £1200, and every penny has been donated to the Shefford Christmas Lights, which are created and managed entirely by volunteers, and are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and stop any bah humbug feelings in their tracks!

I know they’re currently saving hard for a new container to store all of the lights that were updated last year, so if you have anything to spare, I know they’d be grateful. ” Here’s a link to their ‘Go Fund Me’ page https://gofund.me/d4a237b2

 

Majorettes evening

This was a very successful evening where we demonstrated our routines from last season, played majorette themed team building games and they all got a chance to learn some skills using a baton. This evening resulted in 8 completing the session and 6 new starters signing up and joining the troupe, with varying mixtures of ages and abilities, we are very excited to have them on board. Now we are starting to build their skills up and after half term begin compiling the routines ahead of our display season which begins from May next year through to August.

scarecrow festivalFor the fourth year, Shefford held its annual scarecrow festival last month and once again produced some fantastic creative displays, giving enormous fun and enjoyment to the community and its visitors as well as those creating the scarecrows

Started in 2020 as a nice safe way to get people out during covid-19,  the Shefford Scarecrow Festival has always been timed to coincide with the Community Festival.

Scarecrow festival 2

Numbers of scarecrows entered centre around 20 and are spread out across the town – enabling people to gain fresh air and exercise while hunting them.

This event is supported by country properties in Shefford who produce the trail maps and form the base for the voting system where trail goers have the opportunity to vote for their favourite.

Scarecrow festival 3 scarecrow festival 4scarecrow festival 5
Health walk by the river

Wellbeing walks were on our program for Tuesday and Thursday and were very popular as Jan Stephens explained:-  “It was lovely to see so many of you! And we were honoured to have joining us Mayor Ken, Mary from Good Neighbours and Mike, the organiser of the Well Being Walks in Bedfordshire”.

Report from Erica Bowler at the Baptist Church

Baptist scarecrowsWe’ve just celebrated Harvest during the Community Festival weekend, with our own litter-picking scarecrows, a “Rubbish” Coffee Morning on Saturday and Messy Harvest Festival on Sunday. At the Coffee morning we had food, fun and friendship on the theme of looking after this world. Kids made “rubbish” monsters, Nicola from Plastic Free Shefford, spoke to us about reducing our single-use plastics, and we had information from the Tearfund “Rubbish” campaign for a global plastics treaty. At the Messy Harvest we had lots of activities celebrating God’s good creation and we thought about how to care for creation, before sharing lunch together. Big thank you to everyone who contributed and everyone who came.

Also, in the Community Festival we were privileged to join with all the churches in Shefford to take part in the ‘Why believe in Jesus?’ evening. The marquee at the Brewery Tap was beautifully decorated and welcoming, and there were lots of questions for our panel of four Clergy, a Physicist, and a retired Judge. It was a great evening of exploration in a warm atmosphere.

FInally, it was good to throw open our doors for ‘Sanctuary’ – a calm space for exploring Christian meditation. A time of deep communion with God.

Craft fairThe Shefford Craft Fair was a great success, with a steady stream of visitors all night and the STMA bar busier than ever! Every stallholder that I spoke to said they’d had a good night. If you want to find out about the upcoming Winter and Christmas Craft Fairs,go to www.riverdreamevents.co.uk

 

Garage Sale TrailThis year’s Garage Sale Trail was busier than ever. We had 35 houses taking part and SO MANY people came out to grab a bargain! Our stall took over £100, which paled into insignificance compared to the £250 that someone else raised, and the whopping £343 taken by another household! We’ve already pencilled in a date for next year, so put 22nd Sept 2024 on your calendar now! The event raised £190 for our fabulous Shefford Christmas Lights which are created and managed entirely by volunteers, and are guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

more confettiThis year was a slow burner for the Festival but once it got going things went with a bang – especially starting with a new event – the opening ceremony which, courtesy of our Mayor was a great success  Ken brought some giant party poppers and together with the Prince and Princesses got the festival off to a flying start. With the rain now abating many of us then went across the road to sample the EatFeast food stalls.

Barbie scarecrow

Personally, I only managed to get around to a few of the events during the week, but the ones I did visit were great – like the Scarecrow Festival, the Garage Sale Trail and the Art Exhibition – a threesome that seemed to work well together as there were loads of people moving around Shefford on foot or in cars and were able to do all three events in a day. Judging from the photos there were lots of people getting a healthy walk joined by Mayor Ken, Mary from Good Neighbours and Mike, the organiser of the Well Being Walks in Bedfordshire.

Art exhibition

I got to one or two of the Church events like the Baptist coffee morning and Plastic Free Shefford talk – also the St Michaels Community Café and the Thanksgiving and Celebration of the Poetry of Robert Bloomfield, again with our mayor our Ken who certainly works hard for our community – well done and thanks for all your efforts.

Other events included the Greenspace Conservation Group work party at Bellcote Meadow Millennium Green and the Majorette’s taster evening at the STMA – which was also host to a brilliant Craft Fair and a delightful Family Fun Day – just across from the Bowls Club annual tournament.

Craft fair

I have already been asked to agree on dates for next year and have confirmed the Art Exhibition, Garage Sale Trail and the Scarecrow Festival so please do think ahead what you might like to do – I had lots of late notifications this year which sadly means that these events missed the main publicity. The Festival was one of those slow burners that really came to life as our town came into its own recovery from Covid and the financial disaster that has followed it. An example being the support from local businesses who have faith in Shefford and are putting their money where their faith is – already I have another new sponsor for next year – more news to come.

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