Blaxhall Festival Weekend - 2004
During the last weekend in June, Blaxhall held a festival involving several locations and various attractions. The event was exceptionally well organised, with several people working overtime to ensure everything ran smoothly. The fruits of their labour are best illustrated by the fact that all who attended very much enjoyed themselves, and secondly the event raised in excess of £2000 which will go to St Peter’s church. The most pressing work required in the church at present is an overhaul of the organ, and by pulling out all the stops everyone involved in the organisation of the festival has gone a considerable way to ensuring Purcell and Albinoni sound as good as ever under the hammer beams of Blaxhall church.
The event kicked off on Saturday, with the opening of the Flower Festival in the Church. Some wonderful displays were on offer, with interesting diversions in the form of pictorial depictions of Blaxhall houses undergoing renovation. In addition, at the back of the church, under the tower, the display boards from the hall were put to good use exhibiting a great selection of photographs from around Blaxhall at the turn of the century.
Ploughmans lunches, teas and cakes (all made in Blaxhall, and delicious too!) were available from the hard working volunteers in the churchyard. A large covered dining area was provided, though thankfully the weather was excellent for most of the weekend.
Opening at the same time was the Art Exhibition in the village hall. Several styles were represented, and I understand 19 paintings sold over the weekend. Postcards and prints were also sold, in conjunction with the Festival raffle tickets.
At Longfield Nursery on both days over the weekend there was a display of craft work, all from local people. Tea and biscuits were available, and several displays spread around the capacious buildings made the visit well worthwhile.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the Saturday evening Medley, held in the village church. Many parishioners participated in giving a great all round performance, although Diane Keeble did admit afterwards to forgetting the lines to "Morning has Broken" and singing the same verse three times (sorry Diane!). Funnily enough, no-one noticed, and "Danny Boy" was a triumph.
Conditions were not photo friendly in the church that evening, but I captured a shot from the belfry towards the end of magnificent audience participation; all of us belting out "Blaxhall’s Blooming" to the familiar tune of "Frere Jacques"! (Click here to see the program)
Around 100 people were present that evening, a good indicator of the popularity of the Festival. It was a chance to see some great arts and crafts, as well as the industry and inventiveness of Blaxhall itself.
There’s one final picture, of our Reverend Barrie Slatter (who himself did a wonderful turn at the Medley as St. Peter), flanked by friends and family. The picture was taken from the Church tower, showing from above the wonderful and well kept churchyard. More views from the tower can be seen on the Photo Pages.
The fete is the next big event in the calender, but here’s to next year’s Festival.