The Yapham Village Hall Christmas Cracker Lunch took place on Sunday 8th December 2013.  In recent years this has become an annual event in the village, sometimes as a fundraiser for the Church, sometimes for the Village Hall itself.  On this occasion the funds were destined for the Village Hall and will be used to support the ongoing programme of renovating the building and amenities to optimise its value as a resource for the whole community.

The Hall, which had been decorated in true festive style was full to its seating capacity of around 90 people who fully enjoyed the traditional Christmas fare of delicious turkey and all the trimmings and a vast array of desserts, followed by mince pies and tea/coffee.  The diners were from a wide cross section of the community representing all age groups.  Many were from the Parish itself but this event has also become a firm favourite of visitors from different parts of the county.


There was also a cash bar selling wine, beer and cool drinks, and a raffle table groaning under the weight of the prizes. 

A sincere vote of thanks to Mary Ackerley and her supporting kitchen staff of Linda Gray, Jan Danby, Anne Hutchinson, Joy Volckman, and Elaine Stubbings was proposed by Pam Frankland, a regular visitor to these events, and it was heartily endorsed by all those present.   Other helpers in the kitchen were Gemma Gray and Joanne Wilcock.   It really is a huge undertaking requiring an enormous amount of planning and preparation on Mary’s and all the other helpers’ part.  In addition to the hard work in the kitchen, food had been prepared in homes across the parish including those of Roz Eyre, Anne Pearson and Dorothy Nott, who were not able to be there for the meal itself.  The organisers are indebted to the generosity of all those who donated many of the ingredients, in particular Richard Gray who so kindly donated all the potatoes direct from his farm. 


 A highlight of the event was the arrival of Father Christmas, much to the delight of young and old, particularly the young, since miraculously he came bearing gifts for each child.  

One of the youngsters, 3 year old Robyn Wilcock, who spotted the arrival of Santa as he left his sleigh in the car park, was heard to ask in a very concerned voice “Do you think he’s had his dinner?” 

The bar was manned by John Ackerley who also acted as “treasurer” handling all the money both during and in advance of the day.  Mark Danby, when not on washing up and other duties, sold the raffle tickets, extracting money from the participants with surgical precision.  He also organised the “guess the weight of the sweets”, a competition which was free to enter. The lucky person who won the decorative jar and its contents was Diana Barnes.

In all over £1 400 was raised, which bearing in mind the high rate of inflation of food prices, is an outstanding result.  The Committee will be considering how best to invest the money at its next meeting in January 2014. 

Very many thanks to all those who came from near and far to support this enjoyable occasion, and to all those whose generosity and help contributed in so many ways to its success.