Debate speakers (l-r) Kate Adie, Christopher Payne, Rachel Billington, Julian Fellowes and Andrew Densham
What do actor Julian Fellowes, Queen Victoria and BBC news corespondent Kate Aide have in common? All three were involved in a ‘balloon’ fundraising debate for R.A.B.I.
The debate also featured Antique Roadshow’s Christopher Payne, Lady Rachel Billington, and former R.A.B.I national chairman, Andrew Densham. The object of the evening was for the speakers to choose a well-known character and convince the audience that their character should not be thrown from the sinking balloon to save the other lives.
The event, which took place at Melbury House, Melbury Sampford by kind permission of Mr James Townshend and the Honourable Mrs Charlotte Townshend, raised approximately £12,000 for farming people experiencing financial difficulties. The battle was hard fought and Queen Victoria lost out to Kate Aide’s Mata Hari.
R.A.B.I Regional Manager Pam Wills said: “The balloon debate was a highly imaginative way to raise money for the farming community and R.A.B.I is very grateful for the high profile support. The evening was made possible by local business support and we’d like to thank Symonds & Sampson for facilitating the auction and of course, Mr James Townshend and the Honourable Mrs Charlotte Townshend for the use of Melbury House.”