Hundreds enjoy cakes, dancing and sunshine at Stretham Feast

PUBLISHED: 10:57 19 May 2016 | UPDATED: 10:57 19 May 2016

 Stretham feast float parade and village events. Picture: Rob Morris.

Stretham feast float parade and village events. Picture: Rob Morris.

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Hundreds of people soaked up the sun at the weekend as they celebrated a village tradition that began back in 1877 - the Stretham Feast.

“There was a proper Feast atmosphere,” said St James’ Church Reverend Natalie Andrews, team vicar for the Ely team of churches.

“For me, I think it’s a really good opportunity for people to come together, build relationships and raise funds for charity.”

On Saturday a coffee morning was held which raised £292 for Christian Aid, before a farmers market near The Red Lion in the afternoon sold cakes and produce.

“It went really well and lots of people were involved – it was super.”

This year’s feast was based around the theme of the Queen’s 90th birthday and offered people the chance to get a picture with a cardboard cut out of Queen Elizabeth II.

“The good weather made a difference as well,” added Rev Natalie Andrews, who gave a talk about the Queen’s services over the years.

 Stretham feast float parade and village events. Picture: Rob Morris. Stretham feast float parade and village events. Picture: Rob Morris.

Then on Sunday. a service was held at St James’ Church and around 150 people gathered outside awaiting the start of the feast.

“Throughout the day it started to get busy from 2pm onwards on the recreation ground,” said Rev Natalie Edwards, who blessed the Feast.

This year’s feast raised money for local charity PosAbility, which helps to support people who have suffered strokes and multiple sclerosis, thanks to a bucket collection.

Stretham Feast. Left: Layton with Ellie the dog and Isabell.  Picture: Steve Williams.Stretham Feast. Left: Layton with Ellie the dog and Isabell. Picture: Steve Williams.

The afternoon featured music from a pipe band, stalls, fairground rides, a hog roast and psalm readings.

Stretham Feast started in 1877 in order to raise funds for Addenbrooke’s Hospital, which in those days was dependent on voluntary contributions and, in the early 1900s, village children were given three school days off for the feast.

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