Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all pictures were taken by Allison Symes
One thing I can confirm is that anyone selling cold drinks or icecream had a busy time of it at this year’s Fryern Funtasia. Whether it was the hottest Funtasia known to Chandler’s Ford, I don’t know, but the queues for refreshments were long!
It was certainly the busiest Funtasia I’ve visited though the display sign as you came in gave a good overview of what was on site.
The usual attractions were there – bouncy castles, the giant inflatable slide, the bungee jump (on to a trampoline), and the train ride up and down a short stretch of the field. If a more relaxed method of riding was needed, the pony rides at the other end of the field would have fitted the bill nicely. The emergency services were represented by a police van, an ambulance car, and a fire engine and there was a steady stream of visitors to these.
Fair Oak Dog Display Team
I was pleased to get to see the Fair Oak Dog Display Team this year. On previous visits, I had somehow managed to miss them. I guess in some ways we are unlucky with the weather at this event – it rains or is too hot. The usual agility jumps, weaves and hoops were set out on the field but it was more a case of the dogs trotting around rather than running, and understandably so too.
There was a good shelter for them as the Display Team had their own awning and there were several massive buckets of water. On one round, one of the German Shepherds decided he simply had to have a drink first before getting back to the ring. Quite right too!
I loved seeing the agility but the other highlight was the heelwork to music. The dogs ranged from massive German Shepherds to spaniels, labradors and collies amongst others. I was so glad I hadn’t taken Lady here. She’d have wanted to play with the dogs!
Salisbury Community Circus
Later Salisbury Community Circus showed off their skills in the main arena. This included juggling (while balancing on a massive red ball), juggling with knives, escapology, and unicycling, amongst other things.
They also had their own tent close to the entrance to the event where people could try out different circus skills for themselves.
There were the usual plant stalls and cake stands plus a hog roast if you felt like it. I must admit I felt I was the one roasting away nicely without indulging in that!
The birds of prey exhibition was on too and you could see owls of differing sizes, a sparrowhawk and falcons. Magnificent creatures though I noted the “local” birds seemed to have disappeared – I wonder why! (This is something I’ve noticed when walking dogs in the park. The sky seems to go quiet, there are no birds, you look up and lo and behold there are buzzards or sparrowhawks circling above).
Millers Ark had a lovely range of animals on display from chickens to ducks to geese to goats. There was a separate “wash your hands now” station for those who did pet the animals.
I had to suppress a laugh as I looked at the goats at Millers Ark as one of them had definitely decided there was truth in the old saying the grass is greener on the other side. See pic!
Catching up with old friends – Bettermaths and Three Rivers Rail Community Partnership
It was good to catch up with old friends at Bettermaths and Three Rivers Rail Community Partnership. It was nice to chat with Andrew Kuttner of Bettermaths about what he thinks of the “new Fleming Park” aka Places for Leisure, Eastleigh. We both like the building and the car park has been massively improved but I still don’t like the name. I’m not going to be the only local still referring to it as Fleming Park, am I?
Three Rivers often post details of what they’ve been up on their Facebook page so do take a look at that. They were at our own lovely station not long ago.
Scouts raising money for World Jamboree
The Scouts also had a stall in place as they are raising money to sponsor Scouts from poorer countries to be able to go to the worldwide Scout Jamboree. (Their stall was popular. One of the items for sale was cold tinned drinks. Whoever thought of that, well done! Would be very surprised if they had any left to take home at the end of the day). Many thanks to the Scouts for being happy to pose for the picture below (and it was good to see you had time to take in the face painting as well. It can’t be all work at these events!).
One Community (the good people behind things like the Dial-a-Ride and the Eastleigh Museum) also had a stall and were running a tombola. (Those things won’t ever go out of fashion I think). I hope they managed to raise a good sum.
There were sweet stalls, a go kart circuit (set up inside an inflatable), face painting (I decided this year was not the year I should go out and about in public looking like a tiger), and the AC Delco Bowmen were busy showing people how to hit targets. I wonder if anyone did get to hit the balloon set up in the middle of one of the targets. There was also an assault course for youngsters to have a go at with balancing beams, crawling under nets etc.
I think it fair to say everyone seemed to have a good time (though places in the shade were at a premium!). I was glad to see plenty of dog stations about (i.e. buckets of water) and there were announcements for those who’d forgotten to sun cream their children to go to a specific area where sun cream could be made available, which was thoughtful. I understand a couple of youngsters passed out but trust and hope they have fully recovered.
I wonder what weather we’ll get for next year’s Funtasia. Anyone care to guess? Given we had snow in March and a very late spring, your guess will easily be as good, and probably better, than mine. Based on my experience of the Funtasia so far, it is best to be prepared for heavy rain AND take the sun cream! Ah… the delights of the British weather.
Well done to all who worked so hard at the Funtasia. Hope to see you there again next year, whatever the weather turns out to be.
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.