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Onion Sunday 2011, Fox and Goose, Illston-on-the-Hill

This well known fundraiser which takes place every September at the Fox and Goose, Illston-on-the-Hill, true to form, attracted a good crowd and has raised in excess of £5,000, again, for local charities.

The event, started 17 years ago by the, then, landlord, George Bullers has raised more than £50,000 over the years.  George retired after the event last year and Ken and Lindsay Hague, who took over management of this great country pub, were in no doubt over whether they should continue holding this special day.

Onion Sunday 2011
Sunday, September 11th, this year threatened strong winds and rain, but the weather forecasters were, luckily, proved wrong and the keen onion growers and punters enjoyed more fine weather and much joviality.

Unbelievably, this year was an even better year for the onions than last year and the heaviest, grown by Hazel Cave, weighed in at a highly commendable 4lb 11oz.  The best of three, judged by Gaulby’s very own vegetable champ, Gerald Welch, was won by Steve and Anne Abbott of East Langton and the ever popular novelty classes drew some highly imaginative entries too:  The winner of the senior novelty, Pat Rees, created a Fruit and Veg’table’ and the two junior novelty winners, Toby Langrick and Finn Carnduff showed some fantastic flair with the brilliant ‘Fox and Goose’ replica and ‘Daddy Cool’!

The longest bean, 17 ½ inches was also won by Pat Rees and the Guess the weight of the cake, a fabulous 3lb 13oz fruit cake was won by Bob Tattershall.
This years Kemp cake cup, was also a fruit cake, and the tastiest cake, keenly contested and judged by the public was won by the unstoppable Pat Rees – well done Pat.

Other events on the day include the raffle and bring and buy stall which both raise substantial sums, although the biggest crowd puller, traditionally, does seem to be the auction which attracts some keen bidding for around 30 donated lots.  A special thank you goes out to all who contribute goods for this, and also the Bring and Buy, without these we couldn’t raise nearly so much money.  Local artist, John Nourish always donates some fabulous paintings which attract a great deal of interest so many thanks, John.

So, the first Onion Sunday under the new management of Ken and Lindsay Hague has been a success.  Ken summed up the day by saying how much he had enjoyed it and wasn’t it wonderful how such a sleepy village in the Leicestershire countryside could raise so many valuable funds for local charities.  Well done, everyone.  This years chosen charities are Illston Village Hall and Prostaid and the Presentation Evening will be on Tuesday, 11th October at the Fox and Goose, starting at 8pm, all welcome.

Photo Names: Seth Spradbury, Mary Kemp, Hazel Cave, Helen Phillips, Steve and Anne Abbott, Pat Rees and Finn Carnduff.

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