THE organisers admitted a “bit of a panic” when heavy rain began falling just a few hours before a charity dog show and fete in aid of Binsted Primary School was due to open.
“With stalls and the dog show arena all set up in the grounds of Froyle Village Hall, we were worried,” said Bev Nicholson who, with her sister Kendra Whittock, organised the dog show. “But by the time we opened, the sun was shining and it was hot.”
Certainly the good weather brought visitors flocking in on May 13 and the fete, organised by Alice Cowie, chairman of the Friends of Binsted School group, and Alex Winkworth, provided an exciting number of stalls, plus delicious refreshments in the village hall.
The dog show had 16 categories and the four-legged contestants were “on their best behaviour,” said Bev.
There was certainly a variety of dogs from pedigrees to crossbreds to plain “Heinz 57” varieties and one novelty class for ‘Best Stuffed Toy’, which attracted a lot of those under five cuddling their favourite toy, was won by Molly Stray.
Other classes included ‘Best Fancy Dress’ where everyone got a prize - “Because the costumes were so good,” said Bev.
Best in Show was won by a smooth haired fox terrier called Peggy owned by Claire Tustin. Best Novelty dog was Alfie, a Maltese West Highland terrier cross who was accompanied by his 11-year old owner, Daniel Averi.
“It was a wonderful fete and dog show day,” said Bev, “and it marked the start of our fund-raising campaign to improve the school playground.
“We think we could have raised around £1,000 on Saturday which will be the start of the thousands we need.”
If it is anything like their fundraising for a new classroom last year, which raised more than £40,000, the new playground could be in use very soon.
“We set a five-year target to do it but thanks to money we raised from a group of dads doing a charity bike ride to France, donations from local people and businesses, plus what the Friends of Binsted School raised at the music festival, held at Kingsley Country Market, we got more than £40,000 in a year,” added Bev.