Chairperson's Report 2017
The Green Scythe Fair is 15 years old this year, starting first as the South Somerset Green Fair, or 10 years old in its current incarnation after joining with the South West Scything Championships in 2007. Many people said it was the best yet, and certainly we had record attendance, a wonderful atmosphere, more volunteers and better organisation than we’ve managed before. But it’s still a massive workload for some and we owe them, and indeed all our volunteers, a HUGE THANK YOU for their dedication and generosity which allows it all to happen, thus promoting the cause of sustainability that we all hold dear, and with such positive energy.
Based on our takings at the gate (with the new system of £5/person and £5/vehicle), the number of people attending was around 3000 in about 1100 cars. This is rather less than we have been estimating in some previous years, but it was clear that the site was the busiest it’s ever been. And the bar takings confirm that – our thirsty visitors drank 2400 pints of beer, 1320 pints of cider and 540 glasses of apple juice (with thanks to Geof and Zoe) all sourced within a few miles of Thorney Lakes!
Setting up the infrastructure
Our new event coordinator, Rosie Prins, had some sleepless nights in mid-May when SSDC suddenly woke up and asked over 25 questions about our event management plan, including first aid, toilets, water, animals, inflatables, emergency lighting, numbers in the marquees, evacuation plans, traffic management, fire risks and so on. After several emails and a meeting, they seemed to be satisfied that we were doing everything alright.
Pedro led our excellent and enlarged site crew which made set up and take down less onerous than last year. The two Tinkers Bubble horses were a brilliant asset again and with the container storage nearby meant we could do without a hired van. We also benefited from Geronimo running an on-site recycling centre, which worked well … but also highlighted even more starkly the massive amount of waste the fair generates.
Volunteers and stewarding
Our new Chief Steward, Jack Lewis, was a bit apprehensive taking on this role, but was soon making it his own with deft efficiency. With thanks to Peter for coordinating the drumming up of more volunteers than we’ve ever had, there were more or less enough to go round and to allocate extra help as and when the need arose. And thanks also to Jez, our health and safety officer, who seemed to be everywhere and was a rock of support for both Jack and Rosie.
Our bike MOTs didn’t go quite so well this year, due to some volunteer mechanics pulling out at the last minute. It’s a great service so we’re keen to see how we can revitalise it next year.