OCL at the Village Fete 2013

written by Adam Koszary, Project Officer for Our Country Lives.

The MERL Village Fete is only a few days away, and we are already preparing our hi-vis jackets, gazebos, bunting and scones, as well as harnessing an army of volunteers and staff to ensure everything runs smoothly.

The focus of this year’s Fete is on rural crafts and traditions, and we have an exciting bunch of craftspeople either demonstrating or offering opportunities to make your own crafts. We have a wide array of exhibitors this year, meaning you can taste some cakes while learning about your family history, or feel the sparks from some blacksmithing to the sound of the Walham St Lawrence Silver Band. Then there’s also the hog roast (with a vegetarian option), locally brewed beer, leather-working, Jenny Halsteadwoodworking demonstrations, and of course, morris dancing, a raffle, and a cake competition – plus much, much more.

Enjoying the entertainment at last year's Village Fete

Enjoying the entertainment at last year’s Village Fete

As well as all these options there will also be a chance for you to influence the future of the Museum of English Rural Life. We are at a stage where we are keen to learn about what ‘rural life’ and ‘the countryside’ mean to our visitors, and whether our plans for the museum are on the right track or whether you think we are missing something. The questionnaires are very short, but your responses will be a huge help to us. A team of volunteers, myself and a few others will be at the fete gently persuading visitors to give us their views on what they think of the museum, and how it could be improved. We can also tell you about our plans for Our Country Lives, and answer any questions you may have about the redevelopment, so please come and see us! Our gazebo will be in the middle of the field, sandwiched between the Facepainting and the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research!