A SHOWER of blessings came down from the church tower on Saturday afternoon, September 16, during a lucky lull in the rain at Shobrooke Harvest Festival.

The blessings were all the dried rose petals collected over some time followed by the flying teddies and toys.  First down was Eyore, who had been sent down many times before, and a Pooh bear, wonderful commentary was given by the Rev Lewis Eden.

In a Bake Off competition, entrants were invited to create a vegetable cake, ideally using locally sourced ingredients.  Judge was Jane from the Red Lion in the village.

The winner was a five-tier cake made by Vivien Hampson who, with her husband and two daughters, provided the refreshments all day.  The cake had puree pumpkin as the vegetable ingredient.  

New this year was the Slavic Cuisine, typical Polish food, offered by Ameta Paneth and her daughter Sylwia Jacob who have lived in the village for two years.

One of the things this harvest is renowned for is the home-made cakes and preserves, just as good this year as ever, the stall run by Caroline and Jane.  Refreshments were home-made too.

Toys and games were also in the church, sweets on sale in aid of the Libya and Morocco Disaster Fund.

Among the stalls set up in tents outside was the well stocked bric-a-brac and the silent auction, manned by Roger Pilgrim.  Members of Shobrooke Craft Club were there to demonstrate various crafts. 

They meet in the Village Hall fortnightly on a Thursday morning.   This mixed group does everything, or swaps skills, in stained glass, knitting, crochet, has been iris folding recently using paper, plus patchwork, lampshade making and lots more. 

It began 12 years ago with a group of people in the village who enjoyed crafts.  People come from Exeter, North Tawton, Tiverton and more locally.  More members are always welcome.  To know more either contact Jan on [email protected] or telephone 01363 899215.  

Also with a fascinating display was Shobrooke Local History Group.  This, too, has been going for 12 years.  Its archives are stored at Downes.  Information, photographs, newspaper cuttings, anything to do with the village history, is welcomed for copying.  

Curious was a photograph of an old trough found in a hedge, the use of which has never been discovered.  Solving that mystery would be appreciated.  

The Festival was organised by Rosemary Barber, Church Warden and secretary of the Friends of Shobrooke Church, with a lot of help.  This is its main fundraising event of the year for the church.  The Treasure Hunt was won by the Rev Sandra Collier. 

The day opened with the traditional Well Blessing just down the road from the church.  The Holy Well was decorated as usual by Joy Moore and the short service taken by the Rev Sandra Collier.