in Word format.

Motto: The Feast seeks to entertain and to raise money for local good causes.

Aim: to describe how the Feast is currently set up, and why. To be a Guide where memory fails or individuals move on.
Note: It’s how it works now but we constantly seek to improve, where possible without making it more difficult for ourselves.

This Guide is cross-referenced to other spreadsheets, lists, policies and documents.
This Guide is published by Duncan, to whom all contributions and amendments should be given.
There is also an electronic book giving general advice to anyone wanting to hold a Feast. See

Meetings | Membership | Task List | Advertising & Publicity | Finance | Programme | Tickets | Stores | Bar | Food | Marquee | Events | Security | Sound & Light | Policies | Site Plan | Stalls | Volunteers | Website | Weather | Reviews & Learning Lessons


The Bunch comprises a group of about 16 people who plan The Feast. Meetings are monthly throughout the year, with - usually - no meetings in July or August and none in December and January. Extra meetings are usual in the immediate lead up to The Feast. Minutes for each meeting are written and circulated. Communication between members outside of meetings is by phone or by email.
Subcommittees have special responsibility for food and drink, advertising, finance, events.
There are five Trustees (officials plus volunteers) who are the formal decision-making body for charitable purposes. Our Registered Charity Number is 1130121
Bunch Officials are chair, secretary, treasurer and president.
An AGM is held, usually in February.
Disbursement of funds to good causes is usually carried out publicly in mid November. In recent years this has been in our base, The Square and Compasses but recently has been held in The Memorial Hall accompanied by displays of where our funding was spent. This has been a successful venture - more so than the usual meeting in the pub, which was becoming tired - however the Memorial Hall evening involved a lot of work and should not be overdone. Every other year, perhaps.
See also:
Contact Lists


There are some 16 Bunch Members – currently 14 men and two women. Attempts are constantly made to encourage old and infirm members to leave and be replaced by sensible fit and active younger people, though this is a challenge. While wanting to encourage more people to take an active part in The Feast we feel that 16 members is the maximum that can sensibly take part in a meeting. One solution is to have sub committees for specific areas of Feast eg food and drink, events, publicity etc. In this way interested people can attend sub committee meetings (which discuss at length matters for which there is less time in the full meetings), and people who show real sustained interest can move to full membership when space becomes available.
We seek to avoid volunteers feeling disenfranchised from decision making.
Members are the only people entitled to wear the red shirt with yellow Feast logo.
Membership enables the purchase of Jerries, which are tokens to the value of the cost of a drink or item of food. It also enables attendance at monthly meetings.
There are also half a dozen Trustees who oversee the official charity aspect of The Feast. Formal meetings are usually held in the beer break at an open meeting so that all members know what Trustees have decided. Trustees normally take the feeling of the membership and endorse it.
Other volunteers may wear a blue tee shirt with yellow logo and VOLUNTEER written on the back. This is usual for bar staff. Cooks and servers wear a red and white striped pinny when in the food tent.
We encourage volunteers to help out in any capacity and are grateful for all help. In return for a reasonable amount of help it is usual to give a “Helper Jerry” or token for a free drink and/or item of food. This is, however, a matter of contention (see Jerries, below).
One Bunch member is chosen for each night’s events. This list should be publicly available.
See also:
List of Bunch Members past and present
Treasurer’s Procedures
Secretary’s  Plan
Evening Duty Manager

Task List

The Task List is an all year round list of dated activities to remind us what to do when. It is updated continually as situations change and is an essential part of meeting agendas.
See also:
Task List

Advertising & Publicity

Posters, programme, leaflets, radio, sponsorship, banners, website, Village Magazine, other organs … WILL

We have had more or less successful publicity campaigns advertising "Topless Piano Smashing" (implying topless women, in fact pianos with tops removed), suggesting a rather tenuous link between one of Barack Obama's relatives and Great Shelford, hinting at the ambiguity of the phrase "Spit Roast" (which was quickly cut short as not in line with the Feast's family and community values).

Our repeated refrain "See you at The Shelford Feast" echoes Jerry Brown's cry as he toured the village in his car, megaphone in one hand, steering wheel in the other, embarrassing all the people he recognised.

We have a rolling programme of publicity starting with short articles in the village magazine in the spring leading up to a 4 page pullout a few weeks before the Feast detailing all events andinviting volunteers. The programme is published about a month before the Feast, available in outlets selling tickets. The website is kept up to date and used as the main source of detail so start times, spelling of band's names etc must be correct on the site and is copied into the programme, tickets and publicity articles. Posters and banners (recently using quotations from famous figures relating to feasting and making merry) also go up about 4 weeks beforehand. The website is linked to the online sales site and online sales are increasing fast. Leaflets (about 15,000 of them) have been distributed via Royal Mail to the homes in local villages though we now have doubts abvout their effectiveness.

See How to get positive press coverage


Bank account, signatories, collection of money in Feast Week, formal disbursement, insurance, jerries … MAC
See Treasurer’s Procedures | Financial Accounting Periods |


The programme is now a glossy printed document in full colour. It is a blend of advertising, relevant articles, and pictures. Currently it is designed by Andrew Roberts to whom all content should be sent via Will.
The dateline is early May for collecting advertising and content, late May for designing and printing, to be ready in the shops by mid June.
We use Mike Johnson at Printout - in Histon and usually print 1800 copies.
To get around the fact that the Recreation Ground is supposed to be free for al to access, people attending The Feast are required to buy a programme (currently £1.50) for entry. In practice many people discard the programme immediately and families rarely ask for one for each family member, and so fewer programmes than attenders are needed and many can be re-used. WILL


Statistics on the use of weekly tickets (2015)

Policy on Weekly Tickets

Online, printing, scanning, weekly, family, giving as thanks to supporters …SARAH.

  1. Weekly tickets will continue to be sold to the public.
  2. Limited weekly tickets will continue to be given away with the full approval of the Bunch for any recipients, for transparency.  Will will make the case for sponsors to whom he feels may be swayed by the value of the package ie offering 10 weekly tickets for example = £250, whether they are used or not makes them feel they are getting a good deal.  Sarah will make the case for retailers, as it is a “thank you” for the work entailed in selling for us and many do not use them either.  Anyone else who feels that someone should receive a weekly ticket must justify it and it is preferred that are given tickets for specific nights which they can choose.
  3. To circumvent the Saturday 2015 situation where possible paying punters were turned away because 120 weekly tickets were known to have been issued, weekly tickets will be modified to read, “No guaranteed entry after 8 pm”.  This will rarely be applicable but on exceptional nights can be brought into operation with people waiting to gain entry asked to wait until 8 pm when all weekly ticket holders should be in.  On the website and the ticketing site, this new proviso should be advertised so those with weekly tickets know the score.
  4. Additionally, an interchangeable sign should be made for the ticket queue which says, “Tickets for tonight, available” or “Tickets for tonight, sold out” to save a Bunch member having to explain to everyone in the queue on the occasion of an event being sold out that they cannot come in.
    Policy in Word format.


Our main store all year round was a rusty green metal container - The Bunker - near the Memorial Hall. This has now been replaced by a substantial corrugated iron structure, once a groundsman's hut and called The Green Shed. It is on the far side of the recreation ground.
This contains the essentials for the spit roasts, scaffolds, bar and the equipment for cooking. There are some electrical items and also banners, bunting, and all sorts of "useful" pieces of wood and metal.
The Green Shed is not immune from damp and mice, so delicate items should not be stored there unless sealed in plastic crates.
Heras security fencing is stored behind the Green Shed.
Other items such as spit roast motors or items taken home for washing or preservation (pinnies, squirty bottle tops etc) may be held in the homes of Bunch members.
During Feast Week our hub is the Scout & Guide HQ. On Feast set-up weekend we move food and bar equipment from the Green Shed and elsewhere to the marquee and the HQ and subsequent purchases and deliveries may be stored in the HQ, the chiller van or the bar cool-store.


When the marquee is up the bar is built at the HQ end (maybe from scaffolding and boards plus kitchen work top, maybe using Terry's portable bar kit). It is made secure either by locking or by having 24 hour security and is connected to the cool store so cool lager (and lemonade) is piped directly in, while bitter comes directly from barrels in racks. The cool store also houses barrels and bottles from which the barrels come to be racked while they settle and bottles are kept in fridges in the bar area.

Deliveries are usually made directly to the cool store, which is in an area of the rec fenced off from public access. Keys are needed to deliver, so a duty rosta is useful to accept day time deliveries.

Building, stocking, purchasing, cooling, GARY / JUSTIN


During the week we offer beef burgers, sausages, stir fry (vegetable or beef), steak, baked potato.
These also use rolls (finger and bap), sauces, condiments, onions, salad, coleslaw.
Equipment includes barbecues, scuttle, knives, tongs, heavy duty gloves, disposable gloves, chopping boards, tongs for salads, dishes for presenting salads and mayonnaise, squirty bottles for sauces, cling film for keeping open containers fresh, tin foil for covering hot food, foil trays.
A chiller van is hired to keep delivered food fresh.[source, address, contact]
The Shopping List is held on a spreadsheet with cells for items, quantity, price, what has been carried over from previous years, what was used, what was wasted and therefore how much should be bought next year. Stock checks of food take place after each event.
Some items such as bread rolls need to be ordered in advance; others can be bought from Bookers or Tesco as required until Sunday morning.
Fresh vegetables are bought from and delivered by Fieldgate [details]
General foods and catering equipment are bought from Bookers Wholesalers [detail]
Meat is bought from Barkers
Quick purchases may also come from Tesco and The Co-op. If we run short on Feast Day it's usually too late to stock up from further afield.
Over the years we have had a variety of cuts and carcases of pork, lamb and beef. Recently beef has been less popular and in 2015, with the exception of steaks mid week, we cooked no beef. DAVID

See also
Food layout
Organising Food
Food flow for quiz night
Shopping List
The meat order
The Fieldgate order
How to use the spit roasts, set up and cooking times.
Stir fry recipe
Allergies or intolerances


Erecting, Lining, lighting, electricity, plumbing, stage, changing, first aid, food tent,
The main marquee was  60 metres x 15 metres in 2017. It is provided by [Trevor Page, Phone: 01223 891 322] .
Electricity and water come from the Scout and Guide HQ and are routed and cabled up by [Terry / Jester ] who also provide sound and lights.
See also:
Marquee capacity spreadsheet


The Feast is traditionally held on the second Sunday in July. Once a marquee replaced the original army tent it was decided to hold a week-long festival preceding the Feast. This was to make better use of the marquee and to spread the expense (and risk) over seven days.
The standard pattern is for a children’s event on Monday, Sawston Village College “SYD” drama group on Tuesday, a comedy night on Wednesday, a quiz on Thursday and bands of various kinds on Friday and Saturday. Concerts are held in St Mary’s on Friday evening, and recently Stapleford Choir in Shelford Free Church on Wednesday evening.
Saturday afternoon is a beer festival plus a craft market and Sunday is the full feast with arena events, stalls, classic car display, mini train rides etc
We try to ring the changes and have in the past held a TV horse race, jazz evening, blues evening, fashion show. One aim is to appeal to different demographics each evening, though each event must at least cover its costs and at best entertain large numbers and make a significant profit, whether from ticket price or consumption of food and drink. PETER


The first security job is to fence off the site. This involves as many people as possible taking the Heras fencing from behind the Green Shed, loading them on a flat backed truck and delivering them around the site. “Podgers” fasten clips, two per panel, to each other.

The perimeter encloses the marquee and food tent, including the Green Shed, leaving space for vehicular access, a work zone, and an outside area for customers. Access to the recreation ground is via the main car park for pedestrians. Bunch members can park in a temporary car park next to the Scout & Guide HQ. which also has a gate leading directly to the recreation ground. There are locks on the barrier next to the skate board ramp, the temporary car park fence and a gate to the side of the marquee. The entrance to the tennis courts is outside the Feast fence.
The Scout and Guide HQ and its toilet, available for disabled users, is still used as a hub and store for the ten days of The Feast but the Green Shed is our main store. With security items may be left in the marquee though common sense says anything of value should be locked up.

Staff use the toilets provided behind the bar.
A security guard is paid to be on duty from 6pm to 8am. Our security company is Hyline. 0800 612 2940 or via
The site is lit throughout the night.
Keys to the bar and the chiller are kept by the bar and food staff.

Sound and Light

Provided for us by [Terry / Jester]. Electricity (3-phase) comes from the Scout and Guide HQ from an external box. SIMON


We have policies on
Health & Safety
Emergency Evacuation
Child Protection
Stalls :basically we don't have commercial stalls. We take all income centrally and share it out fairly.)
Photography: During Feast week, photos are taken for publicity purposes and may appear on our web site or in a future programme.
If you have any objection to your photo being used in this way, please inform one of the Bunch.
Data Protection: any names and addresses held by us are used solely to contact you for information about The Feast. If you do not wish your name and address to be retained we will delete it on request.
Accuracy: All the information on this site is correct to the best of our knowledge.
However inevitably some events, timing, prices and other data will vary according to circumstances and availability and The Bunch cannot take responsibility for anything that may happen as a result of this information.
Sorry, but we do our best!
Most of these are also published on our website at


See also:
Stalls List
Policy on Stalls


See also:


Domain name:

Will George and Oggi are webmasters.
Most of the site is static but events and details of bands are kept up to date when confirmed – usually in the spring. The Grant Application form (as pdf and docx) may need updating in July. Policy documents may need updating as required.
Photographs from the Feast itself are also posted following The Feast, when the date of the next Feast is changed.
In November details of the grants given are also listed.

This online version of the Feast Handbook, linking our many files of guidance, is at


Our main insurance policy is the Marquee, so in rain many things can be moved under cover. Having a week-long festival also spreads the load beyond a single day which could be hit by bad weather.
Individual stalls are encouraged to bring gazebos as shelter from sun or rain, though these are known to be vulnerable to wind. We have lost many cheap gazebos through strong winds and generally we do not recommend them.
We have a wet weather plan, based on the serious conditions prevailing in 2013, when we moved as much as possible from the recreation ground onto the car park in hastily built frames covered in tarpaulin, and filled the Memorial Hall.
Don’t forget that blazing sun can also create problems and shade and provision of water are important.
See also:
Wet weather plan

Reviews and learning lessons

The secretary attempts to write contemporaneous notes, particularly with reference to errors committed and improvements that could be made. There is also a rough statistical collection to indicate how much food and drink has been used and to inform purchasing for the following year.
A call for additional comments will be made then an edited and organised version of the notes is published and discussed.
This is revisited in advance of the next Feast to try to avoid repeating the errors.

We learn lessons from others, too.

Try Festival Report and West Dorset Guide to Organisers of Large Events

DSG 20.06.2017