Never mind the rain, let's have a fun day - and raise a lot of money

Written by Tony Millett on .

Shall we take an umbrella or a wet suit?Shall we take an umbrella or a wet suit?On the Saturday of the holiday weekend (August 27) Swindon Town's home game with Bristol Rovers was abandoned after a downpour set the ball sailing across the water on the County Ground pitch - blown rather than kicked.  

Next day the skies were almost as unwelcoming for the Marlborough Community Youth Project's fun day at the St Margaret's Mead Recreation Ground beside the youth centre.  However, there was no thought of abandoning the day and families and young people braved the rain to enjoy themselves. Showers, squalls, drizzle, it all came their way.

As one adult visitor commented: "This weather's one heck of a way to reward all that planning."  

There was a very welcome barbecue, an ice cream van, various stalls, some car boots and enough bouncy things to keep the smaller visitors busy for hours.  For the very small there was a very junior and very exciting roundabout.

There was something for most ages.  You could get a look inside a state-of-the art ambulance and a local fire engine (whose arrival was delayed a bit - by a fire on the other side of the town.) 

And there were fun cartoon figures trying not to get their costumes wet and waving for all they were worth.

[Click on photos to enlarge them][Click on photos to enlarge them]

There was also a very professional sound stage with some of the best sound gear ever to grace this sort of event - as is only right for young performers.

Early in the day there were young dancers from the Marlborough Academy of Dance and Drama.  They certainly were not going to be put off by all that water falling out of the sky. You can see video of those 'true professionals' dancing in the rain.

Then two of the Project's local singers - Rohan Ball and Rufus Mackay - sang.  They had strong support from their friends.  Later there were musicians from further afield.

Rohan BallRohan Ball Waiting for the music: "Who said the grass was wet?"Waiting for the music: "Who said the grass was wet?" Rufus Mackay Rufus Mackay

Apart from the fun, this event was to raise money to support the Project's work and help save the youth centre from extinction. 

Two of the many MCYP volunteersTwo of the many MCYP volunteersThere was a tombola and a raffle - and MCYP volunteers with collecting tins toured the site - in, of course, the rain.

I witnessed quite a pile of pocket money going into one tin: "For saving the youth centre? OK - here goes!"  Another tin was thrust into the ice cream van - and a coin rattled into it.

Which might all seem pretty small lemonade - except for the fact that they raised £1,000 for the project.

The event had good support from Earthline, Tonic Construction, David Dudley, RA Miller Building, the Marlborough Rugby Club, Bridge Garage and Barnes. 

And many local shops and pubs along the High Street and beyond donated prizes for the raffle.