A cricket club’s marquee fortnight bowled over organisers.
More than 2,500 people pitched up at the marquee at Neston Cricket Club, the biggest ever at the Station Road, Parkgate ground which was brought in to meet growing demand. There was also a champagne bar courtesy of Laurent Perrier.
This year’s expanded event opened with the annual sporting lunch at which former England cricketer and Ashes winning captain Michael Vaughan was the guest speaker.
Club president Tony Bush welcomed the 600 guests and introduced them to five junior representatives of each sport played at the club.
The lunch raised funds for its Shrimp Appeal which pays for coaching, membership and sports kit for a number of talented girls and boys.
Michael Vaughan took part in a question and answer session which included the famous Ashes victory and post match celebrations with Freddie Flintoff in 2005.
The first week saw the return of the hugely popular Parkgate Proms featuring the 32-piece L’Orchestra dell Arte under the leadership of conductor and artistic director Edward Peak and featuring tenor Nicholas Hardy.
This was followed the next night by the popular summer ball.
During the second week more than 1,200 tickets were sold for the inaugural Parkgate Beer and Gin Festival featuring more than 60 beers from local breweries such as the Brimstage Brewery, Cheshire Brewhouse and Spitting Feathers.
There were more than 25 gins to try including old favourites Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire and Hendricks and others such as Liverpool Gin, Edinburgh Gin and Four Pillars.
Sponsors across the fortnight included Forresters, Lees Solicitors, Mitchell Group and Phillip Bates & Co chartered accountants and financial planners. All food during the fortnight was provided by North West caterer of the year Cheeky Chilli.
The expanded festival was orchestrated by Craig Stubbs, who joined the side as general manager just under a year ago, deputy manager Kat Hussey and president Tony Bush who said: “We are delighted with the success of this year’s bumper marquee fortnight and it was brilliant to see so many people attending all the events.”