Dry rot fails to foil Great Bircham’s French Fair

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The people of Bircham are determined to turn their church into a bustling French market, despite it being hit with dry rot.

St Mary the Virgin, Great Bircham, has been struck with dry rot, but villagers are determined not let it deter them from staging the annual Great Bircham French Fair on August 12.

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Organisers are transforming the church and it’s surrounding area into a French market, and hope to make this year’s fair “even bigger and better than the previous six highly successful events”.

Organiser George Hall said: “This is a tragedy for the small village community, but the people of Great Bircham are determined not to be deterred and are to stage a thrilling French fair.

“The church floor spoilt and it was covered in dry rot. We have had to take up the church floor and burn all of the wood.

“We have also moved the church pews to another location in the church to prevent them from spoiling.

“We estimate it to cost around £200,000 to fix completely. We just had our church roof fixed and now we are having to fix the floor.”

Attendees will be able to taste French bread, cheese and other appetising food, including their renowned French onion soup.

Flavour the coffee, enjoy a glass of wine or visit the British Embassy for a cup of tea.

One of the popular features is the marquee equipped especially for children with art and many other activities for the young.

Among varied stalls, music, singing and aroma of French food, attendees can admire the paintings in ‘Montmatre’, the wide range of books on the ‘Left Bank’, the Brocantes, Patisserie and Jewellery.

Mr Hall added: “We will not let the dry rot stop us from hosting the French fair. We have put a temporary floor in place for the fair and the other part of the floor is just soil.

“But, it is already transforming into a French market place, and we hope that this year’s fair will be better than lasts.”