Party in the Park 2015

Rain didn’t stop play

The day started as is typical for a British summer Saturday – grey and drizzly. We set up the gazebos in the drizzle, and kept everything crossed for sunshine.

When everything was set up the first hardy souls arrived and set out their picnic blankets. As more people arrived the rain held off and a queue for the tombola started forming. Everyone was in such good spirits that people were even happy to win tins of mackerel and economy beans! The lucky dip went down well with the little ones – they were guaranteed a prize every time (usually a sweet treat).

As the BBQ started sizzling more and more people came to join in the fun.

Suzy “the face painting lady” was busy turning little faces into tigers, flowers and even snakes.

In true English style we even had maypole dancing. It soon turned into a rain dance as the heavens opened and everyone headed for the gazebos! We even had to use plastic tubs to catch the rain pouring from the gazebo roofs, but this didn’t shorten the tombola queue and we were delighted to see that so many people hunkered down and stayed at the party.

The sun finally peeped through and we were in full swing again. The Leamington Faces picture quiz kept people puzzled. We can now reveal the answers, for those faces that you can’t quite remember. This year we also had a ‘house number lottery’ for the first time, won by a Leam Terrace resident who was very happy with their wine and chocolate.

Next up was the Grand Auction with our two auctioneers Tom and Jamie. Everything in the auction had been generously donated by local residents and businesses. As the prizes got bigger and bigger, so did the money being offered. One of the highlights of the auction was the £300 bid for three days’ holiday accommodation in the Algarve – we raised over £1,400 from the auction alone. In 2014 the party raised £1,421, and in 2015 we were delighted to beat this amount to raise £1,772!

As the end of the event drew near, it was time for Tug of War – the battle of the sexes. For the last two years it was won by the women, so this year the men were 100% determined and focused. A few people ended up sitting on their neighbours’ laps and walked away with burns and grazes from the rope…but a lot of shouting, grunting and a great team effort meant that the men’s team won.

A fantastic day was rounded off with a mini sports day for the children – egg & spoon race, welly wanging and a mini tug of war.

Huge thanks go to everyone who made it such a successful and memorable event:

  • The committee – Caroline, Cheryl, Catherine, Cassie, Andrew, Colleen, Sophie and Sarah
  • The helpers on the day who set up, gave lifts, collected auction money, painted faces and manned the stands – Bob, Dave, Aiden, Monica, Suzy, Dan, Nigel, Julian and Gill
  • The brilliant auctioneers Tom and Jamie
  • Everyone who attended, bid in the auction and stayed with us in the pouring rain
  • Everyone who lent us random items like tug of war ropes, maypoles and dustbins!
  • Andrew Craner who took our fabulous photos this year
  • All the local businesses and residents who kindly donated to the auction
  • Cath at The New Inn who donated to the auction, advertised the event, asked pub-goers for tombola prizes, plus collected and stored them for us
  • Mr Rai who donated bottles of wine and advertised the event in his shop window
  • No thanks to Sainsbury’s Local, Radfiord Road, who wouldn’t donate anything!

We’re looking forward to summer 2016 already.