It was Christmas 1990 and in the Hatchgate Inn, Iain McEleny, the then landlord, was enjoying a festive drink with Chris Henkey (Hero Henkey featured in the recent Autumn Residents News) and members of the BVRA (Burghfield Village Residents Association). (The word Village was dropped from the title in later years as the community grew to include Burghfield Common and surrounding area). A conversation started up on what could be done to bring the village inhabitants together on a fun occasion, which would be enjoyable for the children and raise money for local worthy causes. Out of this discussion was born the May Fayre which has been held on the Hatch every year since that first one in 1991.
The first year just about broke even but such has been the popularity of the May Fayre that it has regularly produced a profit since then – on three occasions exceeding £10,000 - all of which is donated to local worthy causes.
In those early days just having a Maypole for the kids to dance around, a rope to use for the Tug of War competition between the local pubs, a Tea and Cake tent, Jugs of Beer and a BBQ, was all that was needed. Over the years the May Fayre has grown and now lasts for three days instead of one, from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon.
The stalls at the May Fayre now fill every area of the Hatch and offer all manner of goodies from homemade jams and cakes, locally grown produce and fun activities such as Ferret Racing, Coconut Shy’s etc. A plentiful variety of food is always available, including the traditional BBQ and Hog Roast, as well as an Indian Selection from Burghfield Spices. Each year the Beer Tent attracts more custom and has proved to be even more popular since the added attraction of the Wine & Pimms Bar.
Last year saw a bumper number of winners - from those who had lucky numbered programmes - to those who had winning raffle tickets. Prizes ranged from days out at places like Child Beale and Wellington Park, to bottles of wine and hampers of delicacies, and much, much more. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors who kindly donate these prizes and of course for doing so again this year to an even greater extent.