After 12 Months of Planning
by the brethren of the Sheerness Masonic Events Team the time had arrived to commence there 8 th Summer Spectacular on the Isle of Sheppey.
The theme for this year’s show was based on a traditional County Show, with a few spectacular performances to excite the crowds. The event is the only one of its kind in Kent, whereby all registered charities are invited to attend and raise the profile of their organisations and retain 100% of the proceeds they raise on the day, plus it is free to take part.
Chairman, Bro Dean Faulkner BEM, explained that the events team of just 10 brethren had spent months in planning this years show, they all wanted to raise the bar and break new records, so with our Facebook page receiving over 100,000 likes and hundreds of posters, flyers and adverts displayed everything had been done to ensure this years event would be the best ever.
With the final legal matters in place and the approvals from local authorities granted it was full steam ahead. Setting up commenced 4 days prior, over 800 lengths of fencing, 100 signs, staging, generators and extra toilets, to name but a few started to arrive, and the venue started to take shape.
Gates opening at 11.00am on the 13 th July to the public, plus a free bus service around the island to ensure that we maximised the attendance, it didn’t disappoint, in fact within the first hour over 1000 adults poured through the gates, with a steady stream of people arriving soon after we soon saw the venue fill to over 5000 people. The weather also played its part, slightly overcast, but warm with a gentle breeze it was not long before the burger stalls and ice cream vans had large queues.
The main arena performances started with bang at 12pm, our very popular Sheppey Pirates firing cannons and muskets, then The Cavalry of Heroes Equestrian Display Team started there display, which included medieval jousting and sword battles, straight after this we have the local St John Ambulance Band and then the legendry “Paul Hannan Quad Bike Stunt Show”, Paul did not disappoint, starting off with ground stunts then onto jumps, in fact each time he performed the jumps increased ending up with 3 vehicles noise to noise. The weather then changed in perfect time as at 2pm the Headcorn Parachutists dropped in, landing smack bang in the middle of the arena, if that wasn’t enough at 3pm we had the Stampe Plane Formation Team keeping all eyes in the sky, 3 bi-planes performed some breath-taking moves. Then the second performances from The Cavalry of Heroes Equestrian Display Team and Paul Hannan Quad Bike Stunts and to finish the arena displays we had a live choir, which sent the crowd into singing mode, with the final song fitting the brief, “We will rock you” it was a perfect end to some unbelievable entertainment.
Local radio station BRFM were transmitting live from the event as well as Hospital Radio supporting the coverage, so even if you couldn’t attend you knew what was going on.
With the very generous sponsorship from local companies we managed to cover the cost of the
complete day’s entertainment and attractions, therefore it was going to be a “win win” for all
attending, entrance fee was just £2.50 per adult and children were free, I think this helped as more money was spent on the stalls and attractions.
We were also delighted to welcome our Provincial Grand Master, Neil Hamilton Johnstone and his wife Margaret, accompanied by APGM’s Mark Bassant &; Richard Wingett, Charity Steward Peter Rhodes and Past Deputy PGM VWBro Roger Odd.
We are still waiting to confirm the final amount raised however early indications shows that we have smashed all previous records, the combination of stall holder’s profits and our own attractions and gate fee we have raised an incredible £31,000, quite remarkable considering we are all volunteers and are able to help so many charities in one day.
Check out our Facebook page to see the full report and photos, now comes the most enjoyable part of arranging this event, deciding how we donate the funds we have raised, which will be around £14,000.
In closing our Chairman expressed his grateful thanks to everyone that made this event possible, our brilliant Freemasons from Sheerness Lodges.
Our next show will be back again for 2021