Brimscombe is situated in a valley where the A419, the Stroudwater canal, the river Frome and the railway share space which divided the residents on either side. For many years the villagers from Thrupp and Brimscombe were separate communities. Even the Youth Club had to close because of conflict between youngsters from the villages of Thrupp and Brimscombe.
In 1988 Holy Trinity Church, Brimscombe was preparing to celebrate its 150 year anniversary which was to occur in 1989. Elizabeth Peters headed up a team to design mugs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, notelets and a Fête! The GRAND Church Fête took place on 27 May 1989 and was held on the Brimscombe & Thrupp Playing Fields. The then Member of Parliament, Roger Knapman opened it. The Church put on a drama – the Bible in mime – and there were numerous stalls and a fun fair. Members of Brimscombe School ran the tea tent and Whitbreads supplied the Beer.
It was such a success – raising money for Nelson Trust, Brimscombe School and Cotswold Hospice that it was decided to have another similar event the next year. Philip Marmont, who lived at Mount Cottage, Walls Quarry, Brimscombe, stated that he had met people he hadn’t seen for over 20 years, and it was because of him that the GRAND Village Fête was born! (Unfortunately he died some years ago and is not here now to celebrate our 25th Anniversary).
Elizabeth Peters, with the help of numerous volunteers, has organised the fête ever since. Over the years the event has raised in excess of £100,000 for local charities, although its main objective is a community occasion. Local industry and the parish councils help fund the happening!
The GRAND Village Fête is more of an institution mainly because of its long standing relationship with local schools – Thrupp, Brimscombe, Christchurch Chalford and Minchinhampton Primary schools – which take part in designing a poster to advertise the Fête, Parish Councils – Minchinhampton, Brimscombe & Thrupp and Chalford, Stroud District Council and the ecclesiastical parishes of Chalford, Brimscombe and Stroud. The main attractions, dogs, tea tent, bar, hot food, stalls, pitches, competitions, vintage vehicles and fun fair are the mainstay, but over the years more and more have come on board. Entry is free and there is ample room for cars in Football Club car park.
On 21 May 2016 the Fête will be celebrating its 27th Anniversary.