One Wonderfully British Day!

On the 31st August 2013 something truly magical happened. More than 60 business and organisations from across the UK and thousands (nearly 4000) of happy revellers came to to our sleepy town of Westerham to celebrate British manufacturing and farming with us.

Visitors were treated to interactive workshops by Comins Tea House, Doulton Drinking Water Filters, Ebac Ltd, Farrington’s Mellow Yellow, Gopack Ltd, Great British Sauce Co., Helen Gordon, Jacksons Fencing, Nelsons Brewery, Roadii Firegrills, Superstitchers, The Cumberland Pencil Company, Lush Cosmetics, The King of Shaves, MSE, Beulah Home, The Shave Doctor, Mr Singh’s Sauce, Tudor Oak, W Hamond & The Original Whitby Jet Shop plus loads of other stalls and attractions. 

The day of the Fayre started early for us after 3 previous nights of little to no sleep. We were on site by 7.30am and the first stall holders began trickling through the door soon after. There certainly was little glamour to the first 3 hours of the day as much of it entailed running around hanging bunting (over 100 meters of the stuff), putting up signs and making last minute preparations. However, as early as 10.30am (half an hour before the fayre officially started), the car park began to fill up with enthusiastic visitors. It was at this point that the nerves faded. We now knew that we would have a good number of other families coming to join us in our celebration of British manufacturing and farming.

It was an emotional experience seeing the cumulation of 4 months of hard graft come together better than we could have dreamt. When the pipers began playing dead on 11am  to pipe people into the event there were young families smiling and having their pictures taken. We have to admit it was hard not to be overwhelmed.

At 11.30 Emily and I said a few ill-prepared words on the stage before introducing the national anthem and raising our 2.5 yard Union Flag up a 9 meter pole (kindly donated Flying Colours). This, for us, was another emotionally charged moment and one, Emily confided in me later, that she really had to fight back tears. The event, at this point was officially open!

The day was filled with sun shine, laughter, children charging around and the buzz was mesmerising. On stage the line up of events entertained the crowds all day. Special thanks must be given to Martin from The Victory Arms who, inadvertently, became our stage manager for the day. Incidentally, if you get an opportunity to see The Victory Arms perform please take it! It is an act that is both comical, touching and rousing all in one and a real personal highlight. Another personal stage highlight was the baking demo by Cat Dresser (Great British Bake off contestant) who has a great knack of getting kids interested in cooking. However, all of the acts went down fabulously.

I took the stage at 3pm to compere (if that is the term) the auction of donated items to raise money for the Prince’s Trust. Before the auction began there was a round of Happy Birthday by Gospel Essence (with crowd accompanyment) for MrsB who turned 30 on the day. With MrsB suitably embarrassed, the auction began and what I lacked in auctioneering ability I certainly made up for in enthusiasm. I think we raised over £2000 for the charity although I have not made an official count yet.

Away from the stage there were shire horse rides, demonstrations of furniture making, craft and drawing work shops, food tastings and far too many other things to mentions. Needless to say many people stayed with us all day.

For the workshop and stall holders the consistent feedback nearing the end of the day was that they enjoyed it immensely but more than that, they sold fabulous amounts of stock. This was evident by the fact that many sold out completely. Indeed, I wanted to buy some Farrington’s mayo but was disappointed to find, by the time I got to them, that they had sold out, not just of their delicious mayonnaise but absolutely everything else too!

We were also very fortunate to have the press on our side during the day. Articles came out over the weekend in The Telegraph, The Mail and many local papers. We also had the pleasure of meeting Graham Satchell again from BBC Breakfast who interviewed many of the workshop owners, as well as ourselves. Look out for this at some point next week.

With the fear of being too self congratulatory, we achieved what we had aimed to do and that was to celebrate Great Britain in style.

We would like to thank those businesses that invested time, energy and money into the day itself but most of all we thank them for their faith in us, a normal British family, to pull it off. It has to be said that there are many British businesses that did not show that same faith (they know who they are) and it is with some delight that we know that they are now kicking themselves for not being involved.

By 3pm all of the exhibitors were asking if we are going to do it again… we will keep you posted.

A massive thank you to those that helped on the day from MrsB’s family, whose tireless efforts behind the scene made sure that everyone was safe and very well informed about what was going on during the day and also to Sarah from Kent First Aid Services who stepped in and helped out wherever needed.

One last very BIG thank you must go out to Steve and his crew from Lincoln West. They are the fantastic events management company that came to our aid when the event looked like a dead duck. Lincoln West have worked tirelessly, have been paid nothing and have had very little credit.

More images are located here but there are lots more to come:


  1. great job!

  2. Gordon Smith says

    I thought some big names like JCB might have been there or was there insufficient space. The Top Gear parade in London of British built vehicles was amazing.

  3. I had a really enjoyable afternoon at The British Family Fayre with my two young daughters, thank you. The layout, variety of stands, entertainment, facilities and atmosphere were spot on. You must have all worked extremely hard to make it appear so effortless on the day. Lovely photos: amused to see myself eating ice cream!

  4. Liz Riley says

    I am so thrilled for you both. What you have done this year has been absolutely amazing and to pull off this event, albeit with difficulty at first, shows the passion and endless commitment you have. I was sorry not to be there but was waving my flag for you from Derbyshire. Think you deserve a couple of days off, bit of sleep and some good British beer! Well done!!! Pat yourselves on the back!

  5. Gordon – trying to get big business involved was incredibly difficult as there are so many people to get through to get them on board. Hopefully there will be even more amazing businesses next year!

  6. Claire says

    Hi, it sounds amazing!! Really wish I could have been there, but unfortunately 2500km was a bit far to travel. Congratulations to you both for pulling it off & Happy Birthday Emily! Greetings from Finland x

  7. fl0r4d0r4 says

    We had a really lovely day. Some of the stall holders were surprised when we told them we had travelled from Hertfordshire just for this event, but we really wanted to show our support for what you have achieved this year. Congratulations and good luck for the rest of the year

  8. What a fabulous achievement, well done with all your efforts to Buy British an ethic I embrace wholeheartedly

  9. Congratulations to you both and all concerned on a great day. What a fantastic event and despite the M25’s best efforts to defeat me I am so glad to have made it. A repeat next year would definately get my vote and I’d be happy to come and help put the bunting up.

  10. felicity says

    I had such a brilliant day! And it was lovely to know that everything I bought was going straight back into the economy…also, amazing what’s out there that is made in the UK…especially the folding tables!!! Really well done again!xx

  11. Heidi Rose says

    A fabulous day had by all. Lets do it again next year. Enjoyed the tea tasting and visiting all the stalls and being able to buy and bring new things home to try. Loved the Rapeseed oil. Will try the sheep cheese tomorrow. Visitors – The Rose family

  12. Congratulations on pulling off an amazing first BFF!
    I invited my entire family.Most of us travelled some distance from Essex and as far as Chelmsford.Bought up lots of Rapeseed oil,mayo etc My 3 x kids plus their cousins had a lovely educational day in the glorious sunshine and adored the animals, sheep shearing not forgetting the ‘simply ice cream’. I bought some Ian Mankin fabric to make some Tote bags for Red Cave…. but I might just keep them for myself!
    We stayed all day as it was such a family friendly relaxing atmosphere and so well organised.Thank you for all your efforts- it payed off.

  13. Congratulations! it sounds like it was a fantastic success after all the hard work! I had hoped to have taken a stand but the date clashed with our holiday, I have enjoyed following the progress though.

  14. Thanks to all of the guys who sat in the barber’s chair for a cut throat shave with The Shavedoctor in the workshop area, we had brilliant feedback on our British made products, really sorry we couldn’t fit everybody in. Great day + we met lots of lovely people. Well worth the 6 hour journey down !

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