Sunday, 24 March 2019

Alternative festival returns

Alternative festival returns

CHELSEA Fringe Henley is to return for a fifth year and with a greater focus on conservation.

The alternative gardening festival will take place from May 18 to 26 and will comprise events in and around the town, culminating with the usual floral flotilla on the final afternoon.

The River & Rowing Museum in Mill Meadows has agreed to open its “Ratty’s Refuge” garden, which supports the water vole, at a special rate.

As last year, the Henley Quakers will open their “secret garden” in Northfield End and there will be a heritage day at the Berkshire College of Agriculture at Burchetts Green.

For the first time there will be a festival “hub” at the Old Fire Station Gallery in Upper Market Place which will host workshops and have information about the festival.

Victoria Newton, who
co-ordinates the festival, said she was copying the Henley Literary Festival and Henley House & Garden Show in having a central location to co-ordinate visitors.

She said: “There will be details of all the different events and we will really build it up as a central place where we will be running workshops at the same time.”

Kellie Hinton, vice-chairwoman of Henley in Bloom, said she was pleased the festival was happening again.

She said: “It brings everyone together and is a really valuable thing in the town.

“I think that if the floral flotilla didn’t happen, people would miss it. People enjoy it and it has now become a fixture.”

Last year, 13 vessels adorned with flowers took to the River Thames for the floral flotilla, which paraded from the Mill Meadows moorings to Marsh Lock.

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