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May Day, May Day!

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On the 5th May six event management students from the University of Chichester organised the first ever Midhurst Cowdray Farm Shop and Model Farm May Day Fayre. However, would this be the first and last to go down in history?
On Saturday, the first ever May Day Fayre was held on the Cowdray site, with free entry and parking. There were many attractions to draw in the general public, including live acoustic music from String fellows, Morris dancing with Knock hundred Shuttles, trailer rides, roast lamb BBQ, pottery painting, as well as arts & crafts. The Fayre allowed the people of Midhurst and surrounding areas to come and meet many local producers and suppliers. This great idea, on paper, seemed to be a fantastic opportunity for the companies to gain profit and the buyers to gain some good quality goods. But in real life the result was far from greatness.
The British weather was consistent in the fact it rained all morning. Even the fact that it was raining didn’t fight off the residents of Midhurst visiting their local farm shop, unaware of the May Day Fayre taking place around them. The advertisement for this event was pitiful; it consisted of a small A3 size poster on the side of the country road and three out of the seven volunteers thrusting soggy leaflets at the windswept shoppers who with fake smiles stuffed them into their raincoat pockets. An hour into the event the Cowdray lunch crew rolled in in their flash 4 by 4s, unaware of the confusion and muddle they were about to enter into. All that was needed was a simple sign reading ‘Farm Shop Car Park full due to current event. Please use the over flow car park on your left.’ Instead six of the volunteers grouped together creating a high visibility jacket wall with the seventh volunteer stopping every entering car individually and confronting them with the dreadful news that the shop car park was full and then reeling off the timetable of actives for the day. This bombarded the drivers, creating a haze of confusion and anger. Once the information had finally set in the drivers reluctantly drove into the muddy overflow car park and grumpily stormed over to the café refusing anything to do with the Fayre.
With the overflowing overflow car park horns began to hoot and illegal U-turns out of the driveway were made. The lacking of a sign was a spanner in the works and the May Day Fayre crumbled into a war zone. By the end of the day it as apparent that this small fault in the plan was the big fault of the day.



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