Full steam ahead as organisers aim to help hospice with popular fayre

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A POPULAR event that raises thousands of pounds for the Hospice Of St Francis may have already had to be postponed once because of the soggy summer – but whatever the weather brings the Dacorum Steam and Country Fayre will go ahead this weekend.

Although forecasters have predicted heavy rainfall and other parts of the country have been hit by flooding this week, organisers are keen to stress that the venue at Green Croft Farm, Potten End is in tip top condition and it’s all systems go.

The fayre runs from 10am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday, with an official opening at 2pm on Saturday performed by the hospice’s director of nursing and clinical governance Alison Briant. Mayor of Dacorum Bert Chapman will be among the guests on the day.

This year’s theme is Rusty But Running, which can apply to any workhorse machinery that is past its best but is still up to a circuit of the show ring, and there’s a handsome trophy to be awarded to the entry that catches the eye of the judges.

There will be a vintage working area with a rare peg drum thresher doing demos throughout the day, log splitting, a saw bench being run by a steam engine etc and many other attractions including an escapologist and a circus skills workshop.

Organisers expect around 65 stalls, 18 steam engines in attendance, as many as 140 vintage tractors and about the same amount of classic cars as well as a good number of commercial vehicles. There will also be more than 20 stationary engines on show.

The Dacorum Machinery & Steam Preservation Group’s cake stall will be selling cream teas with homemade scones, assorted savory filled rolls, and delicious gateaux baked by the chefs at the hospice.

Dawn Bunker, for the organisers, said: “I do feel very strongly about giving the hospice as much financial support as possible and I would like to mention some local companies who help us do that.

“Thank you Sainsbury’s Chesham, they run the car park for us and supply a lot of the goods used on the cake stall.

“Steve at ALLGO very kindly deals with all of the rubbish we generate and gives any other assistance needed, this year Andy Kane of Kane Group offered to support us with the use of a road sweeper and driver, to be on site just in case needed.

“Other local companies who support us by advertising in the programme, but most of all we have to say thank you to Peter Groom – if he didn’t let us use the farm there wouldn’t be a show.”