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Village Art & Literature

Hamlet enjoys its own festival

Posted on August 19 2011 at 10:08:21 0 comments

Withyfest

The sun shone yet again on Withybed Green for their now-established annual Withyfest.

This little hamlet of 32 households was described by one of the guests at the Withyfest as “punching above its weight”.

The day was a celebration of the hamlet and its people, who certainly know how to enjoy themselves.

The previous weekend some of the cottages had hosted open gardens, and still looked lovely. Several of the other houses were decorated with bunting, flags, photos, poems, flowers and signs.

There were some scarecrows – including Tall Tilly, Humpty Dumpty, a hippy (youthful version of the resident!), a giraffe, Tina Turner, a snake pursuing a rabbit and a teddy bears’ tea party.

In the morning there were three events showing the range of activities and talents: a sports day organised by Alison Bytom, a classical piano recital by Jennifer Radbourne, and a percussion workshop – intended for children but also joined by lots of adults – organised by Paul Chamberlain and Jan Brice.

The lunchtime “street party” moved this year into a field and people brought home-made food and decorated jars of flowers for the tables. The food was so good that the organising group decided to collect recipes and publish them alongside the annual Withybed calendar.

The afternoon, in the beautiful garden of Selvas Cottage, featured a relaxing croquet match which somebody must have won but no one was sure who. The evening was a marathon of local talent, borrowing some performers from the wider Alvechurch community.

In the garden of the New Smithy, the children (of all ages!) danced to the computer, the percussion band played, and the audience heard musicians and singers from Alvechurch – Paul Chamberlain, Jenny Bradburn, Malcolm and Juliet Horne, plus ex-resident Paul, and Fiona who lives just round the corner!

The Withybed poets read a series of poems they had written for the Bells appeal at St Laurence church, and the Alvechurch Community Choir sang rousing songs, including a great solo from Megan Brain.

The performance culminated in some songs from a small group of Withybedders with words for the occasion.

The balmy summer night ended with more singing at the Crown Inn, whose hosts Trish and Dave are stalwart supporters of the event, the Community Choir and the Withybed poets.


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