On Saturday 10 September, Farnham Maltings played host to the community tea party, the Farnham Afternoon Tea. After months of planning and preparation, the endless rolls of bunting were adorned to the ceiling of the Barley Room and the circular tables were set, ready to welcome in the town for tea.

Local band Little Iris opened the event, playing some of their fantastic acoustic music to welcome the guests in. Along with the music, the guests were greeted by the long table jam-packed with the free cakes, tea and coffee, provided by the organisation as well as generous donations from local businesses. The room was set out in a big circular tables, encouraging locals and business owners to interact as well as a place where organisations could lay out their flyers.

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The tea party also offered the opportunity for locals to make donations to the Farnham Food Bank. It was a delight to see that by the end of the event, the two large boxes that stood empty at the start, were full to the brim with contributions. As those donations were made throughout the day, there were also further live music and dance performances. Halfway through, the guests were treated to a performance of ceilidh dance led by The Dance Movement. Visitors were also encouraged to grab a partner and learn the upbeat, traditional Gaelic dance in front of a rapturous crowd.

Rounding off proceedings were pop-folk band The Espadrilles. Playing covers including The Beatles and Taylor Swift as well as their own original material, they proved very popular with the crowd. As the event began to wind down by late afternoon, most had seem to have forgotten the downpour outside and were happy to have made some new connections at what we hope becomes a more regular gathering for the town.

The Maltings would like to thank all of the businesses, organisations, volunteers and residents who made a contribution to the event; whether it was in cake or monetary form, giving their time as a helper or simply turning up to show support. Director of the Maltings, Gavin Stride said “We couldn’t have hoped for a better turn out and we were glad that the event lived up to its expectation in making people in the community feel welcome, and connected with their fellow residents”.
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The Maltings would like to thank these organisations for their support and donations towards the Farnham Afternoon Tea:

Between the Lines, Farnham
Ranger’s Furnishing Stores,  Farnham
The Cherry Tree, Rowledge, Rowledge
The Optical Studio, Farnham, Farnham
Care Farnham, Farnham
Hart Male Voice Choir
Odiham
Farnham Women’s Institute (Bake, Natter and Roll), Farnham
Bourne Woman’s Institute, Farnham
Knitwits

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