Chichester Mayfest: The year Chichester Rotarians beat the Royal Artillery at tug-of-war

Despite a blustery and cold weekend for the 2011 Chichester Mayfest, the rain held off – and organisers said the weather was in fact a great improvement on the previous year.

By Elaine Hammond
Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:09 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:09 pm

Chichester Rotary Club even managed to double the amount of money raised in 2010, with more than £6,000 pouring into the coffers from the popular annual festival, held on the Prebendal School playing field on Saturday, May 28, 2011.

Howard Bottomley, who was president at the time, thanked Inner Wheel members and the Rotary club ladies for running the teas and cakes stall. He added: “The weather was much better than last year and we had a good crowd in. We were delighted with the number of stalls this year and they have told me they had a very worthwhile day.”

There was a happy atmosphere and people gave generously as they enjoyed looking round the interesting mix of stalls. Perhaps one of the greatest surprises of the day was when Chichester Priory Rotary Club tug-of-war team beat the Royal Artillery team of soldiers. Tony Dignum, who was part of the winning team, said they bought the defeated soldiers a round of beer afterwards and wished them well.

It was not all plain-sailing for the Rotary club, though, as members had to come up with an alternative for the famous duck races, usually creating a sea of yellow floating down the nearby River Lavant. The river had dried up but luckily, a swimming pool was provided instead. A Rotary club member was blindfolded to hook out the toy ducks and choose this year’s winners.

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