Fete returns as mums crank up village spirit

All together: Organisers Alicia Price and Sheila Worsley, left, with supporters at The Glebe

Buy this photo All together: Organisers Alicia Price and Sheila Worsley, left, with supporters at The Glebe

First published in News

VILLAGERS are trying to recreate a sense of community spirit in their neighbourhood by holding a fete for the first time in 15 years.

The Culham Show has been revived by two local mums and will raise money for the Culham Parochial School and St Paul’s Church.

Organised by Alicia Price and Sheila Worsley, they decided to relaunch the show after Mrs Price set up the Parents and Friends of Culham School group three years ago.

The pair, who both have sons in the same class at the school, said interest in the event had dwindled before it finally died off. Their aim is to bring the village together again.

The show, between 1pm and 6pm on Saturday, September 20, on the village’s playing fields, has been sponsored by Davis Tate Abingdon, and there will be more than 30 stalls, bands and children’s games on the day.

Mrs Price, 27, whose son Alfie, six, goes to the school, said: “I grew up in the village and so I remember going to the shows.

“I lived here at the time of the last one they ran, and then there was just a big gap and nothing to fill it.”

Mrs Worsley, whose son Toby is six, said: “The whole village has really come together over this. We really wanted it to be a big event, not just specifically for the school, and it has worked really successfully.

“We hope it will be a grand comeback.”

The 44-year-old added that the event had folded because “the village has dwindled over the years, especially with the closure of The Lion pub eight years ago”.

“The community spirit of Culham also suffered because of that.”

Money raised from the event will be split between the school and the church.

The school wants to buy staging equipment for end-of-term plays. St Paul’s will put its share towards upkeep of the church.

Jon Woodley-Shead, chairman of Culham Parish Council, said: “We have started to have more interest in things going on in the village over the past couple of years; we held events for the royal wedding and the diamond jubilee.

“They [the Parents and Friends of Culham School] came together to save the school and it is still going.”

The school, which opened in 1850, came under threat in November 2010 when the county council said it would close as it had been without a headteacher for two years. By the end of the school year in 2011 it was down to just 24 pupils.

But parents and children backed a campaign to save it and by 2013 they had doubled enrolment and appointed a permanent headteacher.

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