Dear customers and supporters of The East Anglian Game & Country Fair,
As I watch the media, as this global pandemic unfolds, I am mindful that many of you will be directly affected by this virus, and I am sending our deepest sympathies to those of you that have lost loved ones, those that have friends or family in hospital that you cannot visit and those of you that are involved on the front line, caring for our communities along with the many key workers playing their vital role in these unprecedented circumstances.
We know many of you personally, and really appreciate you putting the individuals that make up our communities before yourselves and indeed before your own families, a massive ask for which you have stepped up to as ‘a given’. You do it every day, it is your job.
We too are adapting to the new rules, in the ever changing world in which we live. New areas to research, new guidance to seek as we continue to protect our families from the threats we face. I say ‘threats’ because this is how our primal instincts are reacting to this pandemic. Fear is driving the panic buying, stripping the shelves in supermarkets leading to many elderly, vulnerable and key workers not being able to access vital supplies.
I would urge us all to take a breath, keep calm, and try to bring rational thinking to the fore. Taking practical measures can help us to gain more control over the situation. I would urge you to follow Martin Lewis (MSE’s Money Tips) for some great advice to help our financial situations.
Our children are enjoying recycling various household containers turning them into pots to grow seeds in on our sunny windowsills. Washing liquid containers make great watering cans! You can use the seeds from tomatoes and peppers from the ones we eat and we have got a few potatoes on our windowsill growing sprouts ready to be planted outside to yield more in a few months. Sam’s eggs are feeding the community, and the birds’ old bedding makes great compost to grow the veg. I remember doing this when the children were tiny and we didn’t have any flower beds or prepared soil in the derelict farmhouse we had just bought at auction, so I turned paddling pools, pig troughs and old storage containers into cucumber, tomato, pepper, and pumpkin growers! We then had to raise them up so the rabbits couldn’t eat them.
Sam would like to keep goats for their milk and pigs (I had both as a farmer’s daughter) but we haven’t given in to those yet!
The children are loving being home schooled. Sam is delighted that he’s not having to sit GCSE’s this summer and instead he can be playing farmers in the garden. Alex is sad not to have her leavers programme (although there is still hope this may be possible) at her final term of the school she has attended since nursery, but is loving the flexibility of schoolwork and getting up at midday! #lifeofateenager
As for us, well in accordance with the Government guidelines, none of us are travelling to the game fair office to work, as this is not considered essential work. However, we will keep our social media and website updated and if you have any queries that are not addressed, please feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org which we will pick up at home.
Kate has a more tricky job with home schooling and keeping two young children entertained at home!
Apart from checking in with you guys in this very different April newsletter, I would like to thank you for being the forever loyal supporting community that you are.
We really appreciate all the lovely comments on social media, emails, texts and phone calls from supporters across the show. It’s clear that you are all disappointed that you won’t be able to attend the show this month, but you understand the situation and are looking forward to an even better show next April.
Many of you know Andy personally from the show circuit, and some of you know me from the early days (we have been exhibitors ourselves for over 25 years) long before we started the East Anglian Game & Country Fair 17 years ago. We began trading at car boots, then markets, horse fairs and finally county shows. We have had shows that we have booked onto that have had to cancel also this season, we’ve had to postpone stock deliveries and have chosen to have our rents rolled over to the next show to maintain our good trading positions at them and to ensure these shows have the funds required to organise and promote next year’s event appropriately to ensure good footfall and therefore revenue for us then. And of course for many future years to come….
We appreciate all of the hard work and planning that has gone into all the attractions that were due to entertain us this month. Rest assured we will be inviting you all to be a central part of the show next April.
Thank you so much to The Duke and Duchess of Grafton, and to Mr Andrew Blenkiron of Euston Estate. Forever supportive and encouraging to us both in navigating the business through this difficult period and ensuring we will have many more successful shows at Euston Estate to come.
To the supportive hire companies, contractors and suppliers you know who you are! Keeping our deposits safe until we can employ your services next year and at many more game fairs to come.
Our extended game fair family (all the volunteers and staff that work on the show setting it up and looking after all of our visitors over the weekend) are really sad that they won’t be welcoming you this month, but are keeping next year’s dates free in their diaries. It really is a godsend for Andy and I to have such a loyal team back year after year that carry through our ethos so very well which is for the whole family including your dogs, to have fun, enjoy the show, take part in activities and enjoy experiences you wouldn’t normally be able to, feel the love and look forward to every part of it the following year.
Please remember that all tickets purchased this year and those complimentary ones donated to charities, landowners, leaflet distribution outlets, competition winners, sponsors and supporters of the show, will all be automatically valid for next year’s show. No need for you to contact us, we will reprogram the scanners to accept all of those tickets at the admission gates. Likewise for passes already sent out to attractions, please keep these safe for next year. Membership tickets purchased on line will also still be valid, and we will send you the badges and car passes nearer to the 2021 show.
Likewise exhibitors will be sent their passes with their stand numbers on them next April.
So, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, may you keep safe, look after each other and have faith that we will get through this together and come back even stronger.
Assuring you of our best attention at all times,
Andy & Tracey x