Tucked away in a small village in Norfolk, opposite popular tourist attraction Banham Zoo, is the Appleyard Meadow. In this meadow, in the last weekend of July, a little bit of magic happens. The magic is the tiny, yet packed full of fun and friendliness, Appleyard Fayre 2013.
The brainchild of local musician Liam Harvey, Wendy and Jonty, who run the popular Banham Barrel. With and a team of supportive locals, the Fayre brings a day of wonderful local music, food, craft stalls and activities for all the family for an absolute bargain price of £2 an adult (£3 after 6pm) and 50p a child.
I have been going to the Fayre for years and there is something for everyone. Teenagers come to spend the day catching up with mates and listening to music. Families with young children are able to enjoy the music. The children do crafts and painting or have a go on the climbing wall.
Those without children like to kick back on the hay bales and take in the vibe, which is the most chilled and welcoming I have ever experienced. Even your granny would enjoy looking round the craft stalls, a proper cup of tea and a good slice of cake at the tea tent.
This year I attended with my children, 4 years and 18 months. My brother’s partner and her two children aged 9 and 11 years came as well.
Within the Fayre there is a music stage, hosting local performers throughout the day and night. This year included Liam Harvey, Matt Watson, Kolin Durier, Differential, Gathering Bees, SNYSB, Mollie, Captain Kirk’s Mandolin, Nnitro, Matchbox Hereos, The Murray Girls, The Late Brakers, Twisted Piglet and About Them Shoes.
Food & Drink
The beer tent is run by the Banham Barrel serving local ales and ciders at very reasonable prices.
The barbecue, a vegetarian food stall, a fish and chip van, an organic donut stall, the tea and cake tent and an ice cream van provided food.
Attendees were asked not to bring their own food in and that was well respected, families sat outside the main event on the grass to have their picnic.
Children’s activities included a craft tent where children could paint, make and colour in to their hearts content. Two bouncy castles (costing £1 to bounce on for 15 minutes), inflatable sumo wrestling, and a climbing wall complemented traditional village fete pocket money games such as splat the rat, plate smashing, football goal scoring and balancing 20p on a lemon.
There was a fancy dress competition, the theme being pirates and princesses so there were lots of little pirates and princesses wondering around the site!
Site and Facilities
What I really love about the Appleyard Fayre is the size of the site. Due to having a knee injury I was hobbling around. The fact we could sit and have a drink at the tea tent while watching the older children play in the craft tent, and still be near enough to call to them, was brilliant for us.
Due to circumstances I was unable to stay for the whole day but the few hours I was there I loved and the children loved too.
I have been going since it started in 2007 and it’s a lovely, local day out. Everyone who works on it is passionate about it and this shines through and is what makes it so special.
The event is not for profit and all monies go to charity, this year Norfolk Young Carers and other local charities. Aside of this it supports local businesses and raises people’s awareness of what is on their doorstep. It was fascinating to see a working forge at the event as well as Reg’s woodturning.
So if you are in Banham late next July, maybe staying at the nearby touring park or in the local area or maybe you live nearby, then do pop in.
I hope to go for the day with the children next year. And then, when the children are snugly tucked up in bed with the babysitter, pop back later with my husband to enjoy the evening’s music.
I’m looking forward to it already.