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Big day for Eliza at Bagnall fete on Sunday

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: June 28, 2014

Eliza Holland, who will be crowned the new Bagnall Chestnut Queen, is pictured with her retinue

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THE annual Bagnall fete this year will be a big day for 10-year-old Eliza Holland – who will be crowned the new Chestnut Queen.

Around 1,000 visitors are expected to flock to the annual event on Sunday, June 29.

The crowning ceremony will take place from 1pm at St Chad's Church, followed by a procession led by the Domesday Morris Dancers, which stops at the Millennium Horse Trough on the way to the opening of the fete at the village hall at 2pm.

At the crowning ceremony the retiring queen, Miss Maddison Grocott, aged 12, will present a cheque to Les Knowles of the Moorlands Village Hall committee.

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The cheque represents the money raised at a number of community fund-raising events that the queen has attended during her year in office.

Following the crowning ceremony, Eliza will undertake her first duty as Chestnut Queen by officially opening the fete.

The Endon Hall County Primary School pupil's hobbies include playing the violin and reading, in particular Harry Potter books. Eliza also enjoys dances, swimming and has just recently achieved her green tag in Taekwondo.

Eliza is joined in her retinue by Megan Durber, aged 10, Maid of Honour; Connor Harrison, aged 10, Crown Bearer; Leah Hollinshead, aged 10; Sasha Morris, aged nine; Annabelle White, aged six; sisters Charlotte, aged seven, and Sophie, aged four, Foster; and sisters Olivia, aged six, flower girl Poppy, aged four, and flower girl Harriet, aged two, Finney.

Chairman of the organising committee Becky White said, "Our fete has been growing in popularity over the years. If we see good weather it should attract around 1,000 visitors over four hours.

"Bagnall Chestnut Queen Fete is fabulous value for money for a family afternoon out – as we offer free admission and free parking, and all the activities are inexpensive.

"We hope to raise lots of money for our village hall but we also want to make sure that our visitors have a great afternoon of traditional entertainment and fun."

The day will feature traditional attractions including a bouncy castle, a coconut shy, wellie wanging, face-painting and a football target competition, as well as a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor stalls and games.

Entertainment includes performances from the Domesday Morris dancers and live music from The D-Roaders, as well as Maypole dancing by the children of Endon Hall CP School, along with a display of vintage tractors.

A fete has been held in the village since the 1920s in the form of a traditional agricultural fair and originally featured the crowning of a Rose Queen.

The Chestnut Queen fete revives these traditions, and was established in 1997 on the centenary of the planting of five chestnut trees on the Bagnall village green to celebrate the first Diamond Jubilee in 1897, of Queen Victoria's reign.

These chestnut trees lend their name to the new queen ceremony.

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