Chairperson's Report 2014
Again another successful year, and the Green Scythe Fair grows ever bigger and popular. Once again there was a magical atmosphere, the sun shone all day long, and the public came pouring in. There were no accidents or incidents, and the team managed to cope with the ever increasing workload of running a successful event. One dog fight was reported to Red Cross but no further action taken.
Numbers paying £5 at the gate were up at 2620, an increase of 170 on 2013. With an estimated 150 stall traders, 80 crew, and 150 Scythers the number of adults on site is up to 3000. We had a marked increase of visitors staying on into the evening for the music, and an increase in lost & found items, and in lost and found children.
The traffic marshals counted 1213 cars entering the site. Traffic marshals were the ‘Whistlers’ from Windwhistle Hill. On the Saturday we used vehicle passes for the first time, restricting the influx of vehicles entering the site, before the event opened to the public.
Approximately 300 bicycles arrived at the site with 200 cyclists claiming their reward of free tea & cake at the Green Info Cafe. Bike MOTS were very popular at the front gate and Mike tirelessly maintained in excess of 50 bikes. Prizes were awarded for environmental travel eg longest distance traveled by bike to event.
Stalls & Catering
This year we had more stalls than ever before (79 including 13 caterers and 15 information) and had to turn some people away. Many stall holders comment on how friendly and productive the event is – one quoted: ‘Loved the day, fab atmosphere, wonderful. Well done’. We were pleased to see the rocket stoves again helping provide hot water for the Green Info Cafe. Jhoti was back running the excellent Fivepenny Farm canteen.
Tents & Toilets
We hired in 2 marquees and a kids tent for the Music, Speakers, and Childrens Shows in addition to our own Green Info Marquee, Simon’s Peening tent, Stuart’s site crew tent and a new acoustic trailer stage built by Stuart. There were other tents and structures supplementing activities in the Green Info café and the Green Kidz area.
The composting toilets were used to capacity, and regrettably sometimes inappropriately. Hot water was provided on site for the first time by Stuart’s wood burning unit “Bessie”.
We hired in Andy Hope with his 3kw solar array providing plenty of power for the main music stage, allowing our own Energy Trailer to power the new acoustic stage. Later in the summer the Energy trailer powered a solar cinema at Somerset Wildlife Trust ‘Routes to the River’ event in Taunton in July, and also talks at Sunrise Offgrid in August.
Dave Hatfield organized one music gig in the Ridgway Hall in Langport on Dec 7th 2013. Although the music was excellent, sadly it was poorly attended and lost money.
It is with sadness and thanks we say goodbye to Annie Yuill. Annie has been with the Green Fair right from the start in 2002, running the Green Info café from the scout hut in South Petherton Recreation ground. The Café has grown and always provided varied interesting information displays.
Looking back at photos from 2007 it is amazing how quiet the site looks, it is has grown enormously in the last years. Our growing popularity is not without its drawbacks and I feel it is time for changes and new energy. The work involved has become too much for me to undertake on a voluntary basis, I need a break, so I am stepping down from the Committee (though I am happy to continue to run the Green Kidz area and Site Info Point). I started and have managed the Green Fair since 2002 and have enjoyed working together with the Scything Festival since 2007.
I look forward to the Green Scythe Fair continuing to raise environmental awareness in the local community and being an annual meeting place for all the low impact, sustainable, organic and cooperative projects and businesses in the area.
Chair, Event Manager & Children Area organiser