Ashtead Village Day 2019

Ashtead Rotarians prepared for their 36th Village Day in rather soggy conditions but after a year of hard work, they were not to be put off. Fortunately the clouds parted for the event on Saturday 8th June 2019 and by 11.00am an army of Rotarians, volunteers, stallholders, entertainers and caterers were ready to welcome the estimated 8000 visitors.

Village Day was officially opened by Ashtead Rotary President, Sharon Bagley and the Chairman of Mole Valley District Council, Mary Huggins and the Club acknowledged the outstanding contributions made by three individuals and groups for their work within the Ashtead community: Ashtead Football Club; Richard Leary of Ashtead Youth Club; and Joanna Sherring, trustee of several local charities.

Ashtead Rotary Club always provides a varied programme of entertainment in the main arena. This year saw a jaw-dropping vehicle display from The Stunt Riders UK Tour and fantastic, interactive demonstrations from the Hawkeye Falconry Team. There were displays from two local groups: the Dandelion Theatre Arts Group and the ever-popular Barnett Wood Lane Infant School Maypole Dancers. Other entertainment included Ashtead’s Greatest Dog Show; musical performances from Junction 9, Atlantis and The Mole Valley Silver Band; and a beautiful, creative display of stationary engines put together by local resident Tom Beams. One of the highlights of the event however was a lovingly restored 1898 carousel.

Another feature of the Day is the Cherished Car Run. Enthusiast owners of classic cars of all types and eras gather and drive down to The Street, cheered on by crowds of local people. “Best in Show” prizes were awarded to the owners of three vehicles: Keith Parkinson with his Triumph TR4; a Chesil Porsche 365 speedster brought by Mark Culpin; and Dean Casson with his VW Campervan. The cherished cars were also joined by a beautiful 1934 London omnibus, very kindly loaned from the London Bus Museum at Brooklands.

An important part of Ashtead Rotary Village Day is to give local community groups and charities the opportunity to present what they do, raise their profile and generate funds. This year 58 such organisations attended the event. Many stalls featured games, competitions, raffles and tombolas. Others were offering handmade gifts, the chance to try crafts such as woodturning or information about local activities. A further 39 local businesses had stalls to promote their services and in many cases, also raise funds for nominated charities.

Each year Ashtead Rotary Village day raises in excess of £20,000 for its charitable projects and it is hoped that a similar figure will be achieved this year. However it is estimated that several times this amount is raised by stallholders for their own charities. In addition to this, the population of Ashtead comes together for a thoroughly enjoyable day out! For all these reasons, Ashtead Rotary Village Day 2020 on Saturday 13th June is already in the planning. The club would of course like to sincerely thank all of the volunteers who help to make the event a success and in particular the Rotarians from other clubs near and far!

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