English Fair

English Fair Weldam Castle

Castle Fair 2022- An Impression.


Opening


Saturday 10th September and the weather was beautiful. The English Castle Fair could commence. Queues started forming already at about 10.00- visitors who did not want to miss a thing!

The Fair started at 10.30. The Highland Regiment of Pipes and Drums played a wonderful opening march, from the Castle avenue up to the entrance of the grounds. After this the gates opened and the visitors poured in.


Stand Holders

Well before 08.00 the first marketstand holders were present on the Castle Fair grounds, setting up their stands. The marketstands had been set up the previous day, so they could immediately start to unpack and lay out their wares. Flowers and plants, Antiques, Honey and Bee related products, Bamboo cushions, Fragrant soaps and Jewellery, Children’s books, Baking and Cooking wares, Wool articles and Twents Beer… and many more, all at the English Fair.


This year there were more than 40 stands, more than ever in previous years. As well as the regular stands, there were 10 new stand, which gave a large variety.

St. Mary’s regular stands were also there this year: the Jams and Chutneys and the stand of Theda’s handcrafts and self-made cards which she presented, assisted by her son Daniël.


Tearoom

St. Mary’s Tearoom was fully prepared this year, with more than 80 cakes, which had been home-baked by the baking team, supervised by our head baker Caroline. The whole day long there was a stream of people queuing up for tea and coffee and making their choice from a wide selection of cakes. Then they made their way to the large outside tearoom terrace to enjoy their refreshments, with a view over the forecourt and the Castle and some of the stands of the Fair.


Raffle

All of the stand holders had donated something for the raffle. Printed on each visitor’s entrance ticket was a number for the raffle, which meant that, on presenting their ticket at the raffle stand, they went home with a lovely prize. By the end of the day all raffle items had been collected by the many delighted visitors.

 

Dog show

This year the dog’s stole the show -and of course, we gave it pride of place! There were about 20 dogs taking part, all under the leadership of Joyce, our dog lover at St. Mary’s. All dogs and their delighted owners were given a treat to take home with them. It was a joy to see and definitely an event not to be missed from the English Fair.


Music and Dance

Musical entertainment was provided by the Highland Regiment Pipes en Drums, who played at regular intervals throughout the day. As well as this, the Morris Dancers took to the centre courtyard on numerous occasions, giving a wonderful show of great traditional English folklore.


Queen Elizabeth II

It goes without saying that this year the Fair paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on 8th September. A separate stand was decorated with a photograph, flowers, candles and a Book of Remembrance for the Queen, for visitors and stand holders to write their wishes of condolence. St. Mary’s church arranged for these condolences to be sent to England, in accordance with all condolence wishes for the Royal Family.

At the strike of 12.00 midday there was a short remembrance ceremony. Our Chaplain Jacque read from the scriptures and we held a minute silence after the playing of the British National Anthem.

All present- those working behind the scenes, visitors and stand holders- were deeply moved by these events; in this way all at the Fair showed respect and dignity for Queen Elizabeth II.


Gardens

The Weldam Castle gardens were specially open to all visitors on this day of the Fair. There were 2 guided tours during the course of the day, thanks to Vivian, one of the residents on the Weldam estate. Visitors could also walk through and admire the gardens at their own convenience.


Chapel

Also for the duration of the Fair, St. Mary’s Chapel was open to visitors. The Chapel, which is part of the Castle Weldam estate, has been in use by members of the congregation of the Anglican Church for more than 40 years, providing for a service on every Sunday at 10.30.


Moe than 125 visitors went to see the chapel during the day of the Fair, where in all peace and quiet they could light a candle, walk around the chapel to see this beautiful historic building in Twente or have a talk to those present from the church congregation, who provided assistance.   


A Word of Thanks

At the end of the day, all of the more than 950 visitors made their way home, after a memorable day’s visit to the Castle Fair. There were many happy and satisfied visitors, stand holders and members of the Anglican church, who once again were responsible for the organisation of this event. All involved deserve a big round of applause.

And last but not least, we wish to give a huge word of thanks to the Solms Family, for once again, opening their wonderful location to us and allowing us the privilege of making use of it. A unique setting for a very special day.


Many grateful thanks.


Next Fair 2023


The English Castle Fair for 2023 is planned for Saturday 9th September 2023, to start at 10.30. All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you!