Sunday, 22 May 2022

Village gets festival fever

HUNDREDS of people enjoyed a children’s fun day in Wargrave.

HUNDREDS of people enjoyed a children’s fun day in Wargrave.

Youngsters flocked to Sunday’s event in the recreation ground where there were bouncy castles, zorb balls and assault courses as well as football, cricket and tennis  competitions.

Circus performers demonstrated tricks including plate-spinning and there was a barbecue and a bar for the adults.

The event was one of 40 taking place during the three-week village festival, which runs until Sunday. On Saturday, a food festival called A Taste of Wargrave was held on Mill Green with Michelin-starred chefs Alan Murchison and Ryan Simpson.

There were cooking workshops and displays by local businesses including chocolatier Antes Chocolate Factory at Sheeplands Farm, the Local Larder in Willow Lane and the Loddon Brewery in Dunsden.

The festival featured a number of talks by famous names including author Joanna Trollope and former Zimbabwean cricketer Henry Olonga. TV auctioneer Thomas Plant spoke to an audience of more than 100 at Woodclyffe Hall.

Plant, who is best known for his role on the BBC’s Bargain Hunt, talked about his career in antiques and the making of the show.

He said: “This isn’t a part of the world I come to very often, even though I live in Oxford and have a business in Newbury, but Wargrave is a lovely place.

“I had some lovely scrambled eggs at a tea room in the village.

“I can’t believe I’m on the same bill as someone like Joanna Trollope, I’m just a man with a gavel.”

Plant donated his fee to the Alexander Devine children’s hospice.

On Friday, there was a Hollywood-themed party on Mill Green while magician Paul Daniels and his wife Debbie McGee, who live in the village, were among the judges for a Strictly Come Dancing-style competition on Saturday attended by more than 260 people.

Six couples competed and the winners were Caroline Meader and Jon Colvin, who danced the Charleston.

Dance teacher Richard Myles then led the audience in a cha-cha-cha and Linda Daman and Guy Hesier did a spoof dance based on the film Titanic while dressed as Ann Widdecombe and Anton du Beke.

A specially-made chair will be auctioned off at the festival this weekend to raise money for the Wargrave Lido fund, which aims to raise £200,000 for a swimming pool at the Robert Piggott junior and infant schools.

The 2m high velvet chair was made by Stitch in Twine in High Street and has a “mad hatters” theme. It will be on display at the festival ball tonight and the fete tomorrow, both on Mill Green.

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