The Blog of Rev David A Brinn,
Chair of Frome Area Christians Together,
FACT Mission Statement
We are : From various churches Assisting and serving our communities Christians working together To make a difference
Monday, 17 August 2009
Frome Cheese Show
Recently in the afternoons "Upstairs, Downstairs" has been on the telly. Fascinating as it is for itself and the story lines, it set me thinking about "The Season". What this meant was the social events that the life of the rich was centred around for a given period of time. Everyone who was anyone attended to see and be seen, whether they were interested or not. So, those in the upper echelons of society spent their Summers moving from Glyndebourne to Ascot to Henley to Covent Garden via Royal Garden Parties and Debutante's balls.
So what you are probably by now thinking, has this to do with Frome and FACT. Well it occurred to me, which we are now getting into what might be considered Frome's version of "The Season". Between now and Christmas, we have three big events for the town and surrounding area, starting with the Cheese Show, going on to the Carnival and ending in late November with the Christmas Extravaganza or Spectacular or whatever its being called this year. We are as FACT involved in all 3 in one way or another so its an equally busy time for us as well as the organisers.
More on the Carnival later in the week but today let's concentrate on the Cheese Show and how you can get involved.
The Cheese show has been a pivotal part of Frome life for generations, here's a little history from the Agricultural Society Website
The first Frome Cheese Show took place on Wednesday 27th September 1861 which was planned to exhibit cheese and butter from local farmers. The Cheese Fair was a success and can be gauged from the fact that it has continued ever since, but pressures of one sort or another has forced many changes. The Fairs continued until 1914 when the market hall was taken over for the war however the show continued to flourish holding its annual show in the Market Field. The move to Fromefield in 1920 was a big step forward for the society; with the purchase of its own land and a permanent home its future became more certain. The Society in its early days was keen to encourage craftsmanship and in addition to the usual classes of livestock it ran competition for Hedging, Thatching, Ploughing, Root Growing Acreage Classes, Root Hoeing and so on. The Young Farmers Club movement grew up during the war and they have taken over the Ploughing Matches and Hedging Competitions. The Show has developed and grown to become one of the biggest one day Shows in the West; and can claim to have moved with the times by encouraging popular events. Horses and riders are now a major attraction. Very popular with both exhibitors and the visitors are the Driving classes. The 123rd year saw another dramatic change when it moved to the West Woodlands Showground. This came about due to the show outgrowing its space in the town. The show was heavenly dependent on schools closing on show day to enable the society to use their grounds for car parking which was always a worry of whether this would continue. The safety of the public was always paramount to the Society, so this was another major factor of the move because of the ever increasing livestock and horse entries
.In recent years, FACT has provided ( at its own expense ) a refreshment tent, providing a much needed and indeed much used place of sanctuary for visitors to the show, as well as some activities for children while the adults "sip their tea". We have a prime site and with a large cross at the entrance, no-one is left in any doubt that this is the churches doing their bit for this important local event. As is usual with these things, our customers are always taken aback that we aren't doing it for money or fundraising ( although we ask for donations we don't specify a price or insist on giving. ) Its yet again one of those opportunities for us to make contact with those who wouldn't otherwise come into our sphere.
Of course none of this happens on its own and a big thank you goes to Rev Jill Warren of Wesley Methodist for yet again organising the main rotas ( Jill cannot do this next year as she has already had 2 years dispensation from attending District synod, and that is always same day, so if anyone would do it next year let one of us know, I am sure Jill will help you get started )
Individual churches have now got their slots for the day ( we are starting before official opening time this year because stall holders often need refreshing after setting up and before the rush of customers ) and I list them below with the contacts for that Church. If your church isn't listed you can contact one of the others and offer your services, no offer will be turned down.
9.30-10.30 St Mary's CE and St Katherine's CE - Jennie Barge and Pat Siderfin
10.30-11.30 URC- Anne Steele
11.30-12.30 Wesley Methodist - Yvonne Ellis
12.30-1.30 Mells Group CE - Martin Weymont
1.30-2.30 Holy Trinity CE - Brigit Adams
2.30-3.30 St Catharine’s RC - Diana Woodward
3.30-4.30 Rook Lane Congregational - Gina Parsons
4.30-5.30 St John's CE- Janet Caudwell
If you don't know how to get in contact with one of above email me and I will pass it on
It's vital that we are seen to be involved in the main events of the town year, and its equally vital that we are seen as different churches working together and co-operating. Please sign up at your church or another and do your bit. Some free tickets ( we get them as stall holders ) are available, if cost is a problem.
If you can't get ( and I can't owing to a prior engagement ) pray for the success of this event including praying for anyone who makes contact with the church through the tent for the first time or who uses the opportunity to find out more about what Christianity is all about.