Tales from the Welsh Marches

We’ve had a magical summer already here - even though June has only just begun.  The Platinum Jubilee celebrations were a triumph with pageants, parades, flag waving, cheering and a huge amount of affection for the Queen.


But summer has much more to offer and the usual events are beginning already.  One eternal event in the English summer is the annual local Fete that raises money for the support of small churches, village halls and clubs.


This little sestina tells you about the local Church Fete - it is the same now as it has always been - some things never change and thank goodness for that.



The Church Fete

by Wilma Hayes


Summer’s the time to give and give; we all must do our share

The Church Fete needs us once again; this English summer rite

To pay for the new toilets, regulations and repair


Pray again that this year the work-load will, at last, be fair

And then to the Met Office for the weather to be bright

Summer’s the time to give and give; we all must do our share


It began when Ann Jones fell down the narrow back porch stairs

The ones we tried to fix ourselves, but never got quite right

We need to raise the cash now, for them and the porch repair


The cake stall opened with a crush and I heard Janey swear!

In the scrum of blue rinsed ladies, she’s got a nasty fright!

Summer’s the time to give and give; we all must do our share


The pet show should have been the best of feather, fin and hair

We’re glad the vet was here to stop the bleeding from the fight

Now the Council insists we insure all our church affairs


Rain stuck the bandmaster’s sheet music firmly to his chair

The falconer’s prize buzzard hasn’t come from its maiden flight

Summer’s the time to give and give; we all must do our share


Kiddies’ fancy dress meant kicks and fights by all the mothers there

The face painting looked like Alice Cooper on a bad night

Rain has clogged the gutters and now they too are for repair


The tea tent was in crisis when the tiny borrowed chairs

Didn’t quite fit the trestle tables; the problem was their height

Summer’s the time to give and give; we all must do our share

The vicar says thanks, but next year the tow’r will need repair


Enjoy your summer


Wilma Hayes