New Feast Day link brings in cash

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After a year’s break, Bishop Thornton and Shaw Mills Sports and Feast Day ran once more.

The school’s PTA resurrected the event, which can be traced back to the 18th century when horse races ran near the village church on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, after a gap last year.

And for last weekend’s event the racecourse and marquee were set up next to the school for pony rides, stalls, and a treasure map designed by pupils.

Fortunately, the weather was ideal - not too hot for the races, which the children ran eagerly for cash prizes.

A vast spread of teas was served in school. Then everyone returned outside to what, for many people, is the real highlight of the day: egg throwing and musical chairs. Mrs Peggy Mawson opened the Day and gave out the prizes.

All £695 raised at the Feast Day are going to Bishop Thornton CE Primary School’s PTA to buy new laptops and ipads.

Mrs Liz Bedford, the School’s Head Teacher, said: “We are so very fortunate to have such wonderful support from parents and from the wider village community too.

“I would like to say thank you to everyone for their generosity and help in making the Sports and Feast Day such a success.

“It had a lovely atmosphere and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves.”

The Sports and Feast Day was revived in its current form for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, when it included egg throwing, tug of war, a greasy pole, and the high jump.

Michael Dale, formerly Chair of Governors at Bishop Thornton CE Primary, said: “My grandma was very involved in raising money for the parish hall, and as a child I helped at the first Sports and Feast Day for the Jubilee.”

This year, Michael and his wife Judy organised the day’s races as usual, while their eldest daughter, Katherine, took charge of the microphone.

In its 41-year history, the event has only been cancelled twice: once for heavy rain and then last year, due to other commitments.