Wivenhoe Weekend 9-10 September 2006

Once again the Wivenhoe Society did a brilliant job in pulling a lot of other organisations together to make a lot of things happen all on one weekend. There was certainly something for everyone and people of all ages probably found it hard to choose what to leave out – I don’t believe it was possible to see everything! What follows is very much a personal impression, not an encyclopaedic report of the whole weekend.

Bowls at Wivenhoe 2006I last watched bowls being played rather more decades ago than I care to count. I suppose it is on television nowadays, but I have never seen it. So Wivenhoe Bowls Club’s open day, with regional finals going on, was irresistible. I was delighted to find that nothing has changed. Decorum reigns. Players were extremely smartly turned out, the gentlemen particularly, in their blazers and ties, looked just as I remember them and the only display of emotion was an occasional burst of discreet applause. Other sports used to be like that too, in days gone by. In case the reader thinks me too flippant, I must add that I was also hugely impressed by the standard of play.

Crabbing Prize Giving 2006By far the most popular event was the Crabbing Contest. It was impossible to count, of course, but there must have been thousands of people stretched out along both the old quay and the new. The winner of the adult section was Joanna Carslake with 80g of crab and coincidentally also with 80g, the First Prize in the junior section was won by Jake Gaffney. Second Prize was won by Pat Gardner and Third by Lily Lockwell. The event raised a handsome sum which enabled a cheque for £165.00 to be sent to each of our three local schools. (By way of clarification, Broomgrove Junior and Infants are two distinct entities, although sharing the same site.) The proceeds of the bucket collection was shared by the Ferry Trust and the Essex Air Ambulance, who each received £133.00. Well done Gilli Primrose, who masterminded the whole thing.

Wivenhoe 2006The churchyard had assorted stalls offering the usual wares and a chance to chat, a bouncy castle and a little bit of Wivenhoe wackiness: the country’s greatest singing estate agent, Mike Rollo. Great fun!

There seemed to be a lot of contestants in the Watercolour Challenge this year. Almost everywhere one went in lower Wivenhoe there was someone working at an easel. Organiser Bill Hislop says “it was more successful than ever this year and a lot of money was raised for FOSM”, and he had more good news: “Trinity Galleries have agreed to continue sponsoring the event in 2007”.

Art at Wivenhoe 2006This year’s winners were:
1st prize: Jean Heath, Holland-on-Sea.
2nd prize: James Hollis, Colchester.
3rd prize: Adrian Koval, Alresford
Junior: 7 years and under: Jake Martin; 8-10:Samantha Tierney; 11-14: Camille Georgiou.

WAGA’s annual show was another highlight of the weekend which I enjoyed enormously. The number of entries and their high standard are remarkable for a town the size of Wivenhoe.

After all the excitement of the weekend, the Grand Draw in the Horse and Groom the following Tuesday evening seemed a very low key affair. Well, OK, it was not the National Lottery, but I was surprised so few people turned up, because there were some super prizes donated by local traders and individuals. There was a certain amount of banter as the last three books of tickets were pressed upon unsuspecting people who had just come out for a quiet drink, but in the end there were no screams of excitement and almost all the winners will have simply been notified of their win by telephone.