Saturday, November 20th, was an important day for Latin Mass aficionados, with the first Mass in St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle, for many years. But I had to take a rain-check on attending for two reasons: one which I need not bother you with, and the other purely parochial. Saturday, November 20th, was the day of the parish Christmas Fayre.
The parish has no hall of its own, so we hold our Fayres in the Witham Hall, an old building in great need of some renovation, but right in the middle of the main street of Barnard Castle. Originally built about 1850 by a benevolent member of the Witham family as a reading room and meeting place for the ordinary folk of Barney and much extended over the next 150 years, it now has dances, concerts and film-shows, art displays for local artists and meeting rooms for many societies.
As is usual in most parishes, a willing cadre of volunteers works very hard to prepare goods for the stalls. Each Sunday in the run-up to the Fayre we have various Sundays, named Bottle Sunday, Grocery Sunday, Pound Sunday - each Sunday brings a welcome load of 'stuff' for our stalls.
At the same time we have our Christmas Raffle - all prizes are donated and I think that, thanks to the generosity of parishioners, we have the best prize raffle in Teesdale! First prize and second prize were both £100, plus £50 and £20, with another twenty odd prizes as well. The draw for the raffle took place at the end of the Fayre.
We had a great morning; crowds of people seemed to come in droves followed by lulls before another drove came in. Financially too it was a great success, with a total income of about £2000.. Here below are a few photos of the event.