Ash Parish Council


Christmas Fantasia 2011



Christmas Fantasia 2011, Ash Parish Councils annual start to Christmas, was once again organised by the Parish staff. Fantasia took place on Saturday 3rd December 2011, at the Ash Centre. Chairman of Ash Parish Council, Councillor Nigel Manning, officially opened the event at 2:15pm. The event once again being supported by many local charities and organisations.

Inside the Ash Centre, visitors enjoyed stalls and attractions included childrenís games, tombolas, raffles, a balloon man, creating many varied balloon sculptures and a design your own Christmas Card stall manned by members of Churches Together.

Ash & District Museum Society had a special display of old photographs of Ash in bygone days, and once again this proved to be a very popular attraction.

A specail mention must be made of Duffy's Budgens, who were giving samples of some wonderful locally produced produce including hams and freshly baked bread.

During the afternoon a choir from Ash Grange Primary School sang a number of christmas songs and carols. Ash Parish Council would like to thank Head Teacher Marie Curtis, Teaching Assistant Bev Evans and of course the children in the choir. They were so successful that it has already been arranged that they will attend next years Fantasia.

The staff of the Parish Council ran a tombola, whilst the Parish Councillors supplied and ran a cake stall. The event raised over £750 for local charities. Ash Parish Council would like to give a huge thank you to all the residents, local businesses and organisations who kindly donated the various prizes.

Outside on the Recreation Ground for the first time there were pony rides provided by Danny from the Sprigfield Stables in Tongham

As daylight faded, a large crowd gathered on Ash Wharf, where Councillor Nigel Manning, accompanied by the Ash Vale Ensemble and the choirs of St. Peterís and St. Mary's Churches led carol singing around the Christmas tree. Snow was provided by a snow machine which also added to the festive atmosphere.

The Ash Vale Ensemble, returned once again to accompany the singing, consisting of former members of the 1st Ash Vale Scout Band, conducted by Councillor Len Scott.

Just before 5.00pm Father Christmas, arrived by "HMS Fantasia" a local pirate ship, to switch on the Christmas tree lights. During his journey from the ship to the tree he distributed sweets to the children that had gathered around the tree. He was accompanied on his journey by a jolly band of very friendly pirates.

After the light switching on ceremony every one was invited to return to the the Ash Centre for mince pies and mulled wine, kindly supplied by Mike Duffy from Duffy's Budgens. The Mothers Union of St. Peter's church provided tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the afternoon.

Once again the Ash Christmas Fantasia was an enormous success and the Staff and Councillors of Ash Parish Council would like to say a special thank you to all of the following for their contributions;

Sponsors of the Wharf Christmas Tree:
The Dover Garage

Sponsors of the Christmas Tree Lights: The Co-operative Funeral Care

Christmas Tree electric supply and accomodation for the elderly during the Tree Lights switch on:
Bridges Estate Agents

Cherry Picker Hire:
Vale Furnishers

Sponsors of Pony Rides:
Village Pets

Donators of Tombola Prizes:
Best One
The Ash Cittizens Advice Services
Happy Garden Takeaway
K and S Hair Studio
Lloyds Pharmacy
Nails Beauty
Premier Cuts
The RSPCA Charity Shop
Spice of India
Surrey Tackle Exchange
The Chandni Takeaway
The Forge Works

All pictures copyright G.Bidwell except those marked * copyright N.Bidwell