Harting Festivities History

    For very many years until 1959, the fair was present in Harting on Whit-Mondays and there were bumper-cars, roundabouts, rifle-ranges and all the usual fairground stalls, lining either side of the village street. When the Old Club celebrations had ended in the morning with its feast, the holiday continued in the afternoon and into the night with "all the fun of the fair".

    However, in 1960, to the horror and disappointment of all, when Whit Monday dawned the street was empty of the accustomed stalls - the Fair had failed to come (as, it was understood, it had now become uneconomic to do so). As a result, that day died at lunch-time.

    Following that anti-climax, it was suggested that an attempt be sought to try and remedy the situation for another year. An open meeting was called to see if there would be sufficient support in the village to organise our own entertainment, perhaps in the form of a fete on the playing field. The Horticultural Society had for a number of years run one in conjunction with its Summer Show - a major function in the village calendar - but this had by now been discontinued, so it was thought here would be a good chance to replace this and the Fair at the same time.

    The meeting was enthusiastically supported, an organising committee was formed and the Harting Whit Monday Festivities were born. The main object was "to provide entertainment by the village for the village" and any profits made, though these were not of prime importance, would be distributed back to the village organisations most in need. So in 1961 the first Festivities was launched, most successfully, and Whit Monday was once again a full day of enjoyment.

    Since then and with much hard work put in over many months by many people, it has continued to provide this, and has, perhaps, even grown beyond the concept originally envisaged by some. But over those years a considerable amount of money has been passed on to most of the village's organisations, much of it coming from outside visitors, who by now were coming year after year to share in the general enjoyment. In particular, the playing field pavilion, (which was enlarged in the mid-sixties), received several hundred pounds towards the considerable cost of those improvements. Many other projects have also received funds as a result of the Harting Festivities, indeed the village would not have had its own minibus if it had not been for the efforts of all those involved in the 1972 event.