Monday, 13 September 2010

Wimbledon Common Stables Open Day 12th September - 2010

The Stables Open Day is a particularly enjoyable event to attend as it has a nice ‘village fete’ feel about it, in contrast to the more frenetic Wimbledon Village Fair. Being run by the Conservators and organized by the Commons Rangers, the emphasis is very much more on charities, animals and arena displays and as they are all ex-cavalrymen it’s not surprising that the Household Cavalry and various horsey displays were there as well.
iDons stock ready to go. Could always do with more though...
So into this heady mix of greyhound re-housers, donkey rides, city farms, tractors and falcons rode the indomitable AFC Wimbledon, staking their claim to a spot at the fair on the dubious claim that Wombles were as close you’d ever get to an indigenous local species. It was a three pronged presence with Football in the Community bringing along their inflatable goal with the slow puncture, merchandise bringing along a case or two of small wombles and car stickers and i-Dons spreading itself out in the hopes of catching anyone at all with a vague interest in music.
Eager crowds throng the iDons stall
On the whole I’d have to say we did really well. Merchandise was going out at a steady rate and the cd’s and dvds always seemed to have someone flicking through them. Dave McKnight was spreading the AFC Wimbledon word with his usual gusto and I tried to use some left over space with a flag that was still in the car from the Bath City match the previous day – the flag that everyone seemed intent on knocking down – and altogether we languished in the warm rays of the late summer sun. The occasional supporter would stroll by for a chat and it was an altogether pleasant and profitable day. The best result, slightly to their own suprise, seemed to be had by the Football in the Community team with their beat the keeper and spinning wheel game. I’ve a feeling that this was because there weren’t that many activities or games to play so parents were gravitating to their stand as a potential treat for lively children. Whatever the reason it was heartening to see them furiously pumping up the posts after another goal-mouth pounding.

One of the highlights of the day was the Tug ‘o’ War with large partisan crowds getting behind the various teams. I think the Met Police were knocked out early but Wimbledon Rugby Club were doing well, as were the Paramedics ‘Trauma Team’ and the team from Emmanuel Church. It might be worth the Supporters Team considering entering next year if they fancied pitting their technique against the brawn of the Police. It looked good fun and very competitive in a friendly sort of way.
The 'relief' staff take over for a short comfort break whilst flags are pressed into service as improptu background decoration
This was the last big outdoor event of the season and with luck next year should see us ready to kick off with a far more professional and eye-catching set of display paraphernalia, thanks to supporter generosity and fund-raising. Fingers crossed that anxious scanning of the skies for rain clouds and customers asking 'So who are you then?' will soon be a thing of the past!

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