ALTHOUGH the crowds were not as big as in previous years, the rain could not dampen the spirits of those who did attend the Mechanics’ Trust Children’s Fete on Saturday.

The threat of heavy storms meant only a few hundred attended the event in Faringdon Park compared with thousands in previous years.

However, that did not stop everyone from having a good time and there was plenty to do from dance performances to bouncy castles.

Keith Hewlett, of Haydon Wick, had come along to the fete with his grandchildren Niamhy, five, and three-year-old Corben.

He said: “I used to live around here so know the area very well. I thought I’d bring the grandchildren down for the day because it’s great for kids.

“It’s not as big as it has been in the past but they are having a great time. This is a fantastic use of Faringdon Park.”

Also enjoying the activities was 34-year-old Heidi Sudworth, who was there with her son Levi-Aaron, aged two. She said: “I heard about it when I saw a poster up in his school so I thought we should head down.

“He is really enjoying himself and there is loads for him to do.”

The children’s fete is one of the longest running events in Swindon, having first taken place in 1866.

It ran up until World War Two and then didn’t start up again until 2003.

The Mechanics’ Trust aims to hold an event every year and is now building up to the 150th anniversary in two years’ time.

Hannah Parry, a member of the trust who helped to organise the event, said: “When we looked at the weather on Friday night we thought it was going to be a struggle to hold the event but we pushed on.

“I’m really pleased we did because there are still a few hundred people here and everything is going really well.

“This fete is all about celebrating everything which is good about Swindon. We have local performers, entertainers and businesses showing everything the town has.

“It is also great to be able to use the park like this. A few years ago it was in a right mess but it has been cleared up and the more we make use of it the better it will be for everyone.”

Sean Haines, the community development co-ordinator for the Railway Village, said: “When you look at all the events which have been cancelled in Swindon this year, like the Mela and Armed Forces Day, it is a boost to have something coming back.”