GALLERY: Sun shines as Stretham Feast enjoys record turn out

17:23 19 May 2014

Stretham Feast Weekend. Members of the Littleport and Ely Riot Morris entertain.

Stretham Feast Weekend. Members of the Littleport and Ely Riot Morris entertain.

Archant

More than 1,500 people basked in glorious sunshine as a village held its annual celebration.

This year’s Stretham Feast, which ran from Friday to Sunday, included a parade, fair, live music, farmers market and yard sale.

The ribbon cutting duties to start the parade went to ex service man Ron Yardy, who took part in the Berlin airlift.

Past and present service men and women from Stretham wore medals and uniform to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Funds raised from the event have gone to BLESMA, a national charity that supports service men and women who have lost limbs and the use of limbs or eyesight in the honourable service of our country.

Chairman of Stretham Parish Council, Charles Roberts, said: “It was a fantastic event. The weather was really nice and there must have been 1,500 to 2,000 people there, which is more than ever before.

“We had seven floats from various village organisations in the parade, which was led by the Ely Marching Military Band to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.”

The feast started in 1877 to raise funds for Addenbrooke’s Hospital, which in those days was dependant on voluntary contributions.

The feast always started on the third Sunday in May, taking the form of a week long celebration with activities such as cricket matches, a parade on the Sunday, dances, stalls, a fair in the High Street and a brass band concert.

In the early 1900s, the village children were given three school days off for the feast.

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