A Harvest Festival is not really a festival without some kind of celebratory lunch or dinner and today 75 or so Itchen Valley residents crowded into the Itchen Abbas and Avington Village Hall for just that..
Today the whole event was led by the wonderful Vanessa Rosewell.
Our Rector Amanda introduced the lunch and Madeleine Quest Ritson gave a brief explanation of her job as book keeper and how totally wonderful, efficient, easier, cost effective, less time consuming, better cash flow and generally good it would be if we could organise all our regular giving using the Parish Giving Scheme Parish Giving Scheme Website and if all our families could give regularly even a small amount per month.
Jill Croft organised the food – cooking a lot of the delicious lunch herself and managing all the other Valley cooks to deliver a super lunch for all our guests. Andrew and Katherine Impey organised the wine and drinks.
As you would expect from any event at which Jill was organising the catering, the food was totally delicious. Many of us (i.e including me) returned to the table for a little top up at the end of each course…
This is sadly the last parish occasion on which Jill is going to be managing the catering – she is retiring from this responsibility and looking forward to a bit more flexibility in her calendar – and a presentation was made to thank her for the years and years that she has managed the catering of all our parish events – we don’t know what we would have done without you Jill. Thank you so much – you are amazing.
David Poole organised the entertainment including the famous local baritone Vernon Tottle’s rendition of ‘I was a farmer’s boy’ which David remembered as an agricultural student in years gone by. Being a performance by Vernon, we had audience participation – a chorus with actions- ploughing (a pulling action), sowing (a casting action), reaping (trying to act like Ross Poldark, but fortunately none of the gentlemen tore their shirts off), and mowing (this was a tough one to come up with an action, but eventually the ever ingenious Vernon settled on the action that you would take pulling the starter cable for a mowing machine!).
This comical performance was followed by a medley of harvest hymns and then a very amusing round of Old MacDonald had a farm with the able assistance of the young eventually persuaded to come in from the swings and sunshine outside to join in the merriment.
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who attended this event and to all those who cooked provided wine sang or took part in some way.