Unlike the experience of many local communities that were forced to cancel festive events, the annual Barnet Christmas Fayre went ahead as planned and was well supported given the showery Sunday weather.
Over eighty stalls filled the High Street, The Spires shopping centre, Barnet College courtyard and other locations in and around the town centre.
A children’s fun fair, a show at the Bull Theatre, choir concerts and Punch and Judy in The Spires were just some of the attractions.
Mayor of Barnet Councillor Alison Cornelius who opened the festivities – seen above with cast members from the Bull Players – praised the organisers for their determination in making sure the fayre went ahead despite the ongoing concerns over the Covid.19 pandemic.
“It is wonderful to see the fayre taking place once again. It is a great outdoor event and after all we have been through it is excellent to see people getting together again.”
Councillor Cornelius’s praise for the organising committee in staging the fayre -- after its cancellation last year -- was echoed by the Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers (seen here with Councillor David Longstaff) when the mayor cut the red ribbon.
Ms Villiers said she thought it was a really positive decision to go ahead with the fayre.
“After last year’s cancellation this was a chance for everyone to get together again in a safe outdoor space. It is a real boost for the community and local events.”
The band of the Barnet Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association provided music for the official opening.
Band leader Alan King (far right) was recently awarded the British Empire Medal in recognition of his dedicated work with the Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association of which he became captain in 1977.
Stalls organiser Ros Staines was pleased with the level of support. “We have over 80 stalls which is very encouraging. We lost some stalls – and a choir – because of people testing positive.
“So many people told us they really missed the fayre last year and we were determined to go ahead if at all possible.”
The Bull theatre was packed for performances of the “The Elves Who Saved Christmas”, a children’s show written by 15- and 16-year-old pupils at the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School.
Usherette Jan Parker – in character as a Christmas pudding – said it was wonderful to see the Bull Theatre packed with children once again.
“You cannot beat a live show and after all we have been through these last couple of years it is wonderful to see children back in the theatre enjoying a show.”
Several choirs gave performances, including the N12 Community Choir under its musical director Jo Dore.
One of the innovations this year was a display of classic cars organised by the Barnet Classic Car Club.
A raffle was held to raise money for local charities organised by Paul Johnson (left) and Derek Haggerty– and the prize was a ride in one of the four cars on display, a 1923 Bentley Tourist Trophy, an E type Jaguar, a Mark 2 Jaguar or a Ford Popular.
Mr Haggerty’s 1955 Ford Popular was his second car – purchased for £50 when he was 18 years old. “To think I have had that car for 46 years – and it is still in tip top condition.”
He said the classic car club now had 70 members and was attracting new members all the time. “There are quite a few classic and vintage cars out there in the community and it is great to bring them together in the club.”
Another organisation promoting its activities was Hadley Football Club – which plays at Brickfield Lane, Arkley – and is hoping for promotion after a successful start to the season.
Hadley are currently in fifth place in the Spartan South Midlands League premier division after winning the last eight games and having games in hand.
“We are hoping we might get promoted this season and join either the Southern or Ryman League. There is everything to play for,” said Hadley FC President Tristan Smith (right) seen here with club committee member Olly Deed.
Hadley has obtained planning permission to install an astro turf pitch behind its main stand at Brickfield Lane – an improvement that would provide a training ground for the club and a potential income stream.
MP Theresa Villiers spent the afternoon touring the stalls and pledged her support at the stand promoting the Barnet Medieval Festival (seen here with festival team member Alan Last).
Ms Villiers was ready to do what she could to help ensure that the festival was held again next year.
“The medieval festival is one of the best days out in my constituency.
“After the great success of the celebrations to mark the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Barnet, it would be wonderful to have another festival next year and highlight yet again Barnet’s War of the Roses’ heritage.”