ASHOVER: Harvest hop and supper proceeds top £200

Families from all parts of Ashover took time out to try their hand at milking a wooden cow and herding a flock of strange-looking sheep into a cardboard pen as well as listening to a giant mouse reciting Betjeman and watching a pair of colourful yokels dance while extolling the virtues of their new combine harvester.

The events were all part of a non-stop programme of country dancing, games and competitions at a community Harvest Hop and pea and pie supper organised by members of the village’s All Saints Church.

Ashover’s Rector, the Rev Ralph Lawrence, described it as “a huge success”.

Church Council members Janet Bonsall, Sue Crookes and Kate Phelan co-ordinated arrangements for the sell-out social evening.

Said Kate:”You can’t better a barn dance with real ale and straw bales (supplied by Mr Lomas) to mark the harvest celebration. Ashover is filled with truly amazing talent and it was great to watch it again in action.”

Winner of the best adult fancy dress competition was Victoria Gilthorpe in a stunning cowgirl dress while sisters Emily and Jennifer Daykin, also dressed as cowgirls, won the prize for the children’s competition. A team co-ordinated by Annette Fisher took the prize pumpkin for most marks in the harvest quiz.

Kate praised ‘the generous spirit of all contributors’ whose efforts helped to raise over £200 - even though the Hop was intended to be ‘not-for-profit’. The proceeds will be used to help fund a special 10th anniversary celebration for the Ashover Acorns which, say organisers, promises to be an awesome kid’s party with professional entertainment already booked for June 14 next year!

Country dancing was to the music of Andrew King, the poetry reading was by Ron Eyley, the dancing yokels were Ruth Russell and Andrew Lovell and MC was Town Crier Merrick Bull. Village caterers David Bown and Kath Dronfield provided the supper.