Gateshead Mencap Society

Garden Fete
by ace reporter Ivan Inkling

Our Garden Fete last June will go down in history. This year instead of an entry charge we had a bucket so that people could make a donation if they wished. We had grumpy old Helen Highwater at the gate so no-one dared refuse to donate. We made a small fortune.

Once inside guests were invited to waste their money on the Tombola. The main prize was an enormous trifle donated by Mrs. Tamara Knight. Naturally everyone was frantic to get the winning ticket and when Lucy Lastic won the prize there was an uproar. Sue Ridgepipe swore it was an accident when the trifle ended up all over Lucy.
Later a huge cheer was heard from the refreshments tent. The hot pies had arrived accompanied by three scalding buckets of mushy peas. Lucy saw her opportunity to get revenge on Sue and when no-one was looking she grabbed a bucket of peas which of course she poured all over Sue Ridgepipe. Avery Niceman administered first aid but Sue had to be taken to hospital with second degree burns. She was our first casualty of the afternoon. Constable Colin Allcars cautioned Lucy Lastic and said he expected better from people in their nineties.

For our main entertainment of the day we were very lucky to have a performance by the Bensham over sixties go-go dancing team. They did a great routine ending with "Big Spender" It was all too much for old Mr. Horace Cope who had to be given oxygen. He was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. He was our first fatality of the day.

Then they announced that the bingo was about to start. The top prize was £13.10 so there was enormous demand for tickets. Poor old Lydia Bestpot was trampled under foot in the stampede. Unfortunately Jacqueline Hyde's stiletto heel pierced her windpipe and she became our second fatality of the day. Constable Colin Allcars took some notes.

After the bingo everyone moved to the White Elephant stall. Freda Livery had her eye on a Toby Jug but Marcus Absent got there first. Marcus was examining the piece when Freda smashed him in the leg with her zimmer frame. Well marcus was a large man and he fell over taking the whole White Elephant stall with him. The three ladies serving on the stall were crushed under it and some of the artifacts went flying into the crowd.

A huge punch bowl smashed into the refreshment tent causing the gas bottle to fall on the stove. The explosion could be heard for miles. An ambulance was called but Helen Highwater wouldn't let them in without making a donation. Eventually the carnage was sorted and the bodies counted. Another six fatalities and nine serious injuries. Colin Allcars made some more notes.

Finally came the raffle. The main prize was a cuddly toy so everyone had bought tickets. When the winning number thirteen was pulled out of the hat Annie Daynow claimed the prize. The raffle organizer Emma Wroid remembered selling the winning ticket to poor Horace Cope (deceased) and accused Annie of stealing it while he was being administered oxygen. The riot that ensued was spectacular. Even the walking wounded got stuck in. Constable Collin Allcars was powerless to do anything about it as his notebook was full. When the dust settled there were four more fatalities and seventeen serious injuries.

Everyone said that despite the rain it was the best Garden Fete ever.