Splott Summer Community Fete

This summer, on the 7th of August, Splottlanders can get together and enjoy a community summer fete organised by local residents. 

Staged at Moorland Park, Singleton Road and Old Splott Library, the fete will have loads of fun stuff from a rugby tournament for 6-8 year-olds to street games, stalls, face painting, music, alternative therapies and more.

Finishing off with a dance evening from 5pm to 10 pm, the fete looks to be something fun and free that can really bring the community together.

Angela Bullard told Inksplott about the background to the Fete:

“The Fete came about by accident. Back last year, the People in Pain (PIP) Group decided to hold a Tea Dance for the elderly in Splott, as an affordable alternative to day centres and bingo. We booked the Old Library to hold the event and within 6 weeks we had sourced all the china, raffle, tombola and bingo prizes, courtesy of local traders and the generosity of the community.

We booked musicians, a professional 50s-style dance group, Brutons provided all the bread for sandwiches, the Deck, Memory Lane and Cedar Tree Farm were very generous with cupcakes and Tesco supplied all the tea, coffee, sugar and milk. It was all donated by these very generous people so we decided that we would also make the event a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Now. 

It was a huge success and we raised £1,300 for the charity.  We were inundated with requests to repeat the exercise and my husband approached John Manders of the Old Illtydians to request the use of the room in the Old Library again, this time for a Barn Dance. At the same time, members of PIP also joined Splott Community Volunteers and we became a constituted group, so as to be able to raise some funding.

John suggested we could have Moorland Park, which is their playing ground, to provide some space for daytime entertainment. We settled the date and John arranged with his Club for a Tag Rugby Tournament (6-8 yrs) to take place on the day. Like Topsy, it just grew!!

There have been fetes held on Splott Park before but, as we all know, that is in Tremorfa, not Splott! It became the first ever Splott Fete instead of just a dance, to include the whole community, and it was decided that the funds raised would be used to open a Breakfast Club to address disadvantage and inequality for people from very diverse ethnic and social backgrounds.

However…… there were a few long faces about the lack of a dance, so that has been tagged on to the end of the day too, and we are having a Family Barn Dance in the early evening, hopefully complete with Country Musicians and a Caller, though it is proving difficult to source an affordable one at the moment. We do have music available but it would be nice if we could have live music to generate the atmosphere.

We are selling pitch space with tables and chairs at £40 each, and spaces in the events programme range between £25 and £100 which we are selling to local businesses who seem happy to help us achieve our aims.

We have lots of events and stalls planned for the day and hope that the strong sport programme which has evolved will engage a lot of ethnic minority and help to build stronger community relationships and engender pride in the community.

We are still, however, seeking donations for the raffle and cake stall, and bits and bobs for a White Elephant Stall, Toy Stall and a Tombola Stall. And we need lots of volunteers for the weekend of the Fete. So that’s where we are at the moment!”

So here’s the deal – I was recently talking with some of my neighbours about organising a ‘Meet Your Street’ party on this exact weekend (that’s still my idea and I’m copyrighting it!) and initially I thought ‘darn it, they’ve gone and pipped me to the post’ (because my language is always that wholesome) but the truth is that this is even better: this is a community event that all people of Splott can participate in.  It’s not just about meeting people on your street, getting to know them and creating a community microcosm; it’s about meeting your whole community, from the top of Splott Road, along Railway Street to the top of Moorland Road and right the way down to Aberystwyth Street and Walker Road, making the connections that you want to and enjoying yourself.  Let’s use this opportunity to create a community macrocosm that encompasses the whole of Splott.

Because if we, the people living in Splott, young, old and in-between, those who have lived here their whole lives and those who are recent residents of this great suburb, can get together – unite- and form bonds and networks with each other, then maybe this will be the first joined-up activity of many.  Maybe this will be the beginning of something more.

Maybe this can be the beginning of the regeneration of Splott.  Not from above (because, let’s face it, councillors and politicians don’t have a great track record of looking after us), but from within.

Why wait when we have the passion, skill, enthusiasm and commitment to do it ourselves?

I’ll be there on the 7th of August.  I hope you will too.