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Rick Wakeman's Caped Crusades: going for the one prize

It’s not easy keeping everyone happy at the village fête, as Rick Wakeman discovers

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely to be in the position of being asked to do things for worthy causes. If you happen to live in a village, one of these can be opening the village fête. I must admit, I love them and made the mistake of announcing this in a local newspaper back in 2005. Since then, the only thing I haven’t been asked to open is my neighbour’s mail.

A lot of my friends are in a similar boat and we often help each other out on fête days. One such close friend, and nearby village neighbour, is the comedian and actor Roy Hudd.

It was Roy who asked if I would open his local village fête a few years ago and I willingly accepted. It had
a great reputation for being a cracker, so I was looking forward to it.

I should explain that although you are only asked to “open” said proceedings, once you’re there, you’re their captive. This means you usually end up judging one or all of the competitions for home-made cakes, the most disgustingly-shaped vegetable (usually a cucumber or carrot), country dancing, flower arranging, and of course the fancy dress competition. On this particular occasion, it was this last one that Roy and I were asked to judge.

The first and only prize was a bag of sweets. There were two entrants.


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