World-renowned humanitarian and author Terry Waite, CBE, came home on Monday to join in the fun at the Hartest village fete.
Mr Waite, who has lived in the village for more than 20 years, opened the fete with the Reverend Patrick Prigg from Hartest All Saints Church.
As well as signing his many books, Mr Waite delivered a moving speech about human values and the importance of having a close community.
Mr Waite was held hostage in Beirut for five years in the late 1980s while negotiating the release of hostages in the Middle East on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
His new book, Out of the Silence, which will be released on November 18, contains a collection of memories, poems and reflections – 25 years after his release from captivity.
Gill Leeming, part of the fete committee, said: “It was a fantastic day, one of the best we’ve had for several years.
“We had more than a 1,000 people come along, some of who came from as far-a-field as London and Kent.
“It’s a great occasion as it brings everyone in the village together. I’d like to thank Michelle Roper, from the Friends of Hartest School, and everyone else for their hard work in making the day such a big success.”
The fete had everything from donkey rides, morris dancers and games for children to a marvellous sax group. Proceeds from the event, which organisers hope will reach £5,000, will be split between Hartest All Saints Church and Hartest Village School.