Fair could be village’s last
A guide dog is set to be the star of the show for what could be a village’s last ever annual fair later this month.
Qula has been undergoing her training with guide dog walkers Stephen and Lorna Fryer from Willesborough.
They will attend the Smarden Christmas Fair, which has been running for the past 32 years and has raised more than £150,000 for good causes since it started in 1985.
The fair will includes a range of charity and craft stalls, gifts, and stocking-fillers, and last year saw a record amount of more than £5,000 raised.
But it might be the final fair, as organiser Gill Bromley is considering stepping down after running it for 20 years.
She said: “The event is expected to bring a record number of people. All the stalls are booked and I have a waiting list.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and it might be time for a change. It’s not a final decision, but there comes a point where if you organise the last one, you want to go out on a high.
“This may be the final year we hold the event, so we want it to be the best ever.
“It may not be the last one if other stallholders come forward and take it on, or if I decide to do it for another year.
“It always goes well, and it all helps to support charities which are from the area. Stallholders are often from Ashford or Tenterden.”
Charities which have already signed up include the British Heart Foundation, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Pilgrims Hospices, MS Therapy Centre, the RSPCA, and Breast Cancer Kent.
Mrs Bromley said: “Qula is another attraction, it’s nice to have a cuddly animal. People can come along and find out about where their money goes to help the training of puppies.”
The fair will take place at Smarden Charter Hall in Chessenden Lane on Saturday, October 28, from 10am to 2.30pm.
Qula the guide dog will be the star of the show at a Christmas Fair in Smarden