Who remembers the Duck Fayre in Patcham? The Duck Fayre is being revived tomorrow (Sunday 19 May) after an absence of more than 20 years to provide a family fun day for the people of Patcham and its surrounds.
Originally run by the 44th Brighton Scouts, the Duck Fayre took place in the shade of the village’s 300-year-old elm trees and along the Old London Road from its junction with Ladies Mile Road to Patcham House School.
The area in front of the Scout hut and the Co-op became party central to the smells of candy floss and BBQ food.
With stalls, dance displays, silver bands and the occasional duck wandering round, it used to draw hundreds to the village every year.
Following an innocent Facebook post by someone who asked “Who remembers the Duck Fayre?” a groundswell of interest developed to the point that in September 2018 a group of local residents got together and decided to bring back the fayre for a new generation of families.
Nobody is quite sure why the Patcham Scouts called their local fete a Duck Fayre. Rumour has it that ducks from the pond at the All Saints Church use to wander down to the village. Others say they were herded through the village to a local market. But whatever the origin, it was a great name for a great day!
Now the Duck Fayre is due to return – from 11am to 4pm tomorrow (Sunday 19 May) – in the same place but extending into the adjoining Peace Gardens.
A group of local residents – the Patcham Duck Fayre Revival Group – have been hard at work raising money and planning the day.
There will be a dog show, children’s activities, circus skills and a family area in the park – along with a beer tent for thirsty parents and street performers, silver bands, dance groups and choirs in the Old London Road.
There will be funfair rides, including the Crazy House and a ghost train, as well as local trade, craft and cake stalls for all to enjoy plus a flower show at the All Saints Church.
The Scout hut will offer refreshments, indoor craft stalls and a traditional BBQ while further down the road in the Memorial Hall we will have a vintage tea room and more arts and crafts tables.
Over 50 local traders and businesses have asked for pitches along the Old London Road and many have been generous in sponsoring the event.
The day promises to be a celebration of all that is good in Patcham and a day for all ages to come together to enjoy their community. All profits from the day will be given to the Patcham Community Association who will distribute the funds to good causes in the parish.
Everyone is welcome but if you plan to come on the day, please use public transport or “waddle” down to the village as there is no parking on site.
The Old London Road will be closed from 6am to 6pm come rain or shine, which is just as well as ducks love water as well as sunshine!
Sally Booth is chair of the Patcham Duck Fayre Revival Group.