Hedgerows echo with merry warbling and whistling in sweet, wild notes and the blue bells are brightening up the woodlands again: fete season is upon us. The time has now come for me to descend on North West Hampshire’s village greens and school playing fields to test my eye on the coconut shy, unleash my children upon bat-the-rat and swelter in the sun. Indeed, gazing out on the scorched vista at Hurstbourne Priors this Bank Holiday Monday it was hard to believe that less than two months ago the place was buried in ice and snow.
You get the sense that we have waited longer than usual for our shot of sunshine. People are pouncing on the rays with more than their usual gusto. Now with the ‘Beast from the East’ at bay we can look back at a biting winter from a more comfortable distance and it definitely seems that the deeper the chill the brighter the summer. The land looks positively greener and humming with life. It is good to see nature thriving so visibly again as southern England enacts its annual ritual of transforming itself into the world’s most verdant garden.
It is very telling, I think, that the English have such a close relationship with the summer countryside and that quintessential Englishness is to be found in a straw hat, a jug of Pimms and the tombola.
Since my election in 2015 I have attended approaching 100 fetes and by now, the kids are aficionados of most of the acts we see during through the season. It is always great to see North West Hampshire at its best and it’s a tribute to the spirit of the villages that so much work is put in to make the fetes a resounding success. Thank you all for your efforts and see you at the burger stall.
Kit Malthouse MP
Minister for Housing, Family Support and Child MaintainenceNorth Hampshire