Come along and enjoy Leighton Buzzard May Day Fayre on Monday
Fun for all the family.
PLANS for this year's May Day Fayre are under starter's orders and it promises to be another galloping success. All that is needed is a warm and sunny day.
There are more than 40 stalls, fairground rides and a donkey derby with a difference lined up for the people of Leighton and Linslade to enjoy on Monday, May 4, in the High Street and Parsons Close recreation ground.
The Rotary Club Of Leighton-Linslade is hosting the event, which is celebrating its 20 year.
This year, the donkey derby will have 'dummy' riders instead of people and promises to be hilarious. There will be a fun dog show at 11am, and also a Midlands regional heat of England's Strongest Man.
Other attractions will include a climbing wall and a reverse bungee. Dancing and singing groups in town will also help to entertain the crowds.
Dave Edwards from the Rotary Club said: "May Day marks the day that Leighton Buzzard celebrates itself. People come out after the winter and spend hours at the fayre – it really is a nice family day out."
But those who have lived in Leighton for 20 years or more will know that this particular May Day event was established to celebrate the reconsecration of All Saints Church following its rebuilding after a huge fire almost destroyed it on April 13, 1985.
Terry Warburton MBE from All Saints Church told the LBO what the weekend means to him and the congregation of the church, and how things have progressed since the fire.
He said: "We have a special service on Sunday, May 3, which will be conducted by Canon Peter Whittaker, who was vicar here at the time of the fire.
"On Monday, the All Saints Preservation Trust will run the unwanted Christmas presents stall and show videos throughout the day featuring the reconsecration and the first celebration event 20 years ago.
"It is a very significant time in the history of Leighton Buzzard. The huge blaze ripped through the 13th-century building and caused damage to its roofs, spire and ancient woodwork. It also wrecked its fine Victorian organ and the ring of 10 bells which dated from the 17th century.
The Reverend Grant Fellows said: "We are inviting all who were involved at the time or since to come along and join us for this service. It would be good to see the church packed with people to welcome back Peter Whittaker and to celebrate the rescue of our wonderful building."
Mr Warburton said: "The night of the fire is etched in many townspeople's memories, as it is the largest blaze Leighton Buzzard has ever seen. Fire engines from a wide area were called to fight the blaze, which took several days to extinguish.
"Offers of help and support flooded in and, once the structure was stabilised, hundreds visited to see the damage for themselves. Some stayed on to help with the clean-up, removing ingrained soot and water damage from the stone floors and undamaged glass.
"It took four years of intense activity, led by the Reverend Peter Whittaker, local surveyor Paul Reynolds and a small steering group, to organise the repair of the building. They employed contractors, artists and craftsmen used to working with stone, glass and wood. A new organ was built and installed, a new ring of 12 bells went into the tower, augmented with help from a local businessman, and an extension was added to replace the damaged vestries.
"On May 7, 1989, the Bishop of St Albans, heralded by a fanfare from the trumpets of the Blues And Royals, arrived to a church packed with dignitaries and townsfolk, to rehallow it for services. It was a wonderful occasion – the culmination of so much anguish and sheer hard work by so many."
"Scaffolding is due to return to the church in the next few weeks as work begins on restoring the chancel and south transept, which are showing the effects of centuries of patching and stone
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 13 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: East