'One of the busiest fetes in our history' - Westoe Village Fete returns with thousands turning out to support local charities
The fair has origins dating back to Victorian times, but in 1972 was resurrected by two Westoe residents, Jack Grasby and David Johnson, and has since helped raise thousands for charity.
There was a bumper turn-out for the event on Saturday, June 25, as people came along to support local charities and businesses throughout the day in Westoe Village.
The 50th Westoe Village Fete featured stalls for charities, local businesses and food sellers, as well as traditional games and entertainment from the Colours Steel Band, South Tyneside Hospital Radio and a local marching band.
The sun was shining for the milestone day and community spirit was running high, according to Deborah Challis, organiser and chairwoman of the village’s residents’ association.
She told the Gazette: “The day went really, really well. It was just brilliant. It was definitely one of the busiest fetes we can ever remember holding.
"The weather was fantastic and so many people came out to support many worthwhile causes. The community spirit was really high and people reconnecting with old friends seemed to be a common theme throughout the day.
"The stalls all did really well and some even raised double what they expected, which is just fantastic news. It really was just a special day all round to mark our 50th event.
"It’s so important for local charities to have this kind of support. For some local charities it will be the biggest day of the year and play a massive part in keeping them going."
Money will be counted over the next week and funds from stalls set up by residents will then be gifted to good causes who call for support during the next year.
Since 2009, the event has raised more than £35,000, which has then been pledged back into community organisations by the residents’ group.
In the last 50 years, the Westoe Village Fete has only been missed once, which was in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was held in September last year due to Covid restrictions, before moving back to its traditional summer setting this year.