What a smashing Country Party
The 2001 Midland Game & Country Sports Fair held at Weston park over the weekend (September 15 & 16) more than lived up to its billing as the 'biggest party in the country' by smashing all previous attendance records.
With more than 45,000 people on the park over the weekend the Fair was not just the biggest ever it was almost exactly 50 per cent up on last year.
Delighted organiser Tony Scutt believes this performance could well mark a major turning point for the show: "Weahter-wise Saturday was perfect but Sunday was actually quite wet and if it had not been for the rain I am sure we would have gone through the 50,000 barrier.
"But other than that everything went pretty nearly perfectly. Because this year has really been a disaster for the country with the foot and mouth epidemic we said in advance that we wanted to turn the event into one big party and a celebration of all that is best in the country and I think that is just about what we got.
"The atmosphere was fantastic, everyone seemed to come with the objective of having a good time, and, as a result, many of our traders also reported record-breaking takings for the weekend."
The new Countryside & Fishing Village proved to be extremely popular and one of the Fair's biggest successes. Built around an enlarged pool and combining the Countryside Alliance Pavilion, antiques, crafts and shopping marquees with traditional tackle stands ensured a constant stream of visitors and left both the angling fraternity and the Alliance delighted with their 'catch'.
The vicar of West Park, the Rev Graeme Sims, opened both days with a short service and one minute's silence in memory of the victims of the terror in America and the weekend was brought to a rousing and fitting finale by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.