Stowupland Flower Show and Fete

The fete started in the 1880’s, being originally termed Stowupland Cottagers’ Show. The second year of he show, 1887,  Mr H.F. Harwood gave permission for it to be held in the grounds of Stowupland Hall, and he opened up the hall gardens and orchards for the villagers to enjoy.  It was usually held on a Tuesday in late July or early August and local employers gave their workers a 1/2 day off to enjoy the show. Although we don’t have a date for the 1887 show it may have been a few weeks after Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee (20th June, 1887).

people at a fete 1914
1914 Flower Show and Faete iat Stowupland Hall

For the following 6 decades  it was held in the grounds of Stowupland Hall, later moving along the road to the Village Hall in the 1960’s.

The show had began as a fruit, vegetable and flower show. Then in 1889 traveling show people added entertainments to the displays of produce. The first was Mrs Jarley’s Wax works.

During the first half of the 20th century the show  was very successful. Many local people, including school children, competed in the myriad of produce and craft sections  as well as participating in the sports events. In addition each year the organising committee booked diverse entertainments for people to see.

However by the 1960’s the show was struggling to be profitable and the decision was made in 1965 to scale down and move  along the road to the Village Hall.

A much reduced Flower and Craft fair still takes place in Holy Trinity Church and the Village Hall.

photo of people in fancy dress
Fancy Dress parade in the 1940’s

Read Eric Noy ‘s memories of the fete

A Saxham Street resident remembers an 8 foot wall that separated the private gardens of The Hall from the parkland and the horse racing events with jockeys riding Suffolk Punches. He also remembered the time when Black’s bullocks escaped from their field and careered down Saxham Street destroying 2 gardens along the Driftway. A sack of potatoes was given to the elderly lady (Mrs carr) as apology but not to the gentleman,

In 2020 Roger Lark (son of Rev Lark) shared his memories by email of the fete, “another fond memory is helping to run the clay pigeon shoot at the flower show as run by a farmer think it was Barker he has a collection of vintage tractors. Was paid £1 10s a bottle of tolly brown ale and fish and chips for tea, Happy days.