- Review By Chris Smith !

Sat 9th July 2005, Manor Farm, EASTERGATE

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But it’s a Barn!

Yep! And it’s free.

But it’s got cows and silage and cattle feed and tractors init!

Yep its home to a large dairy herd and all the farms heavy equipment.

But what about the food?

Richards got that sorted. We’ll have a staffed catering unit (ChuckWagon) so we won’t have to worry about numbers and quantities or serving or leftovers and we can offer a discount when our guests present their tickets. We’ll set up a bar and Scott can organise that and the Band can have a trailer as a stage.

What Tony Stone and the guys on a trailer?

Well it’s more a Haystack mover and it’ll be strong enough
even for Baba the Bass player.

What about lighting and decoration and cleaning it ready for the night?

Well its just as well we’ve got Richard for the electrics, cacti and totem poles (and the Dalek) , Barry with his van and building savvy, Mick and Roger with their sonic screwdrivers and lots of other ‘willing’ helpers.

So it’ll be alright on the night?

You bet – and it was. Despite the strong competition from other activities (notably the Chichester Real Ale & Jazz Festival) on the night we had just over 200 paying guests. The Bucking Bronco Bull caused some laughs and sore backs while Rays performance in the saddle (with Golden Handbag) raised over £130.

The Bar ran out of London Pride quite early but there were plenty of alternatives. When the Bottle opener broke it was lucky Chris had his Scout Knife handy – ‘I knew I’d get to use it one day’– he was heard to say.

The Band kept the Dance floor full all night with a great mix of Rock n Roll numbers and between their sets the Raffle Draw was made with all nine prizes being collected on the night-which makes a change!
The Auction of the Goodwood Revival Tickets raised a further £90 plus a donation of £10.

The ChuckWagon seemed to be well received as the food was of excellent quality and great variety with guests being able to use the facility all evening including coffee and tea. It was able to cater for wide tastes even satisfying Holly’s Mum with a Cheese and Jam Sandwich.

The theme of Cowboys and Indians encouraged many guests to really work hard on their outfits with some full blooded Indians in war paint, and not a lot else, and authentic looking Cowboys and Saloon girls, and even a Cowboy Builder.

It was good to see the City Connection Band off duty for a change enjoying the freedom of not being in the spot light. Many thanks to them for a great night at ‘THE VENUE’ when they raised £1040 for the MFMF.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the night which also raised a further £3000+ for Meningitis research.

Many thanks to Jim the Farmer for all the facilities and when asked about the smell he said ‘What smell?’

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