Dear Messenger...

Festival in Pitsmoor for 2016?

What happened to Abbeyfield Park multicultural festival in 2015?

The first multicultural festival was organised by Panni Loh and Green City Action in 1999. It was such a great success that it became an annual event, with the local community taking over the running of the festival in 2008.

In 2014 there was a fantastic, two day mega-festival to celebrate the Tour de France.

Then in 2015… nothing.

There have been wonderful traditions at the festival: Betty’s tea stall, tasty spicy food stalls, local musicians and dancers (particularly the Yemeni men). Held in July, it can be a wondrous, chilled special day spent meeting friends and neighbours. Though not always – in 2007 it was cancelled because of the floods, and moved to September, and in 2005 a bomb scare meant the park had to be cleared.

Going further back to the early 1990s, the parents group at the Abbeyfield Park Playground Campaign organised three summer fairs in the park, with a brass band, bouncy castle and ice creams; the famous and popular tombola, donkey rides and face painting.

There was also a Pitsmoor Festival in the early 1980s, organised by local people, in my recollection just some music and a few stalls on a sunny day.

I found evidence of even older events on the Pitsmoorians of the past Facebook page. Jim Jones remembered going with the Andover Street church on the Whitsun walks to Firth Park from Pitsmoor in the 1950s and 60s, with all the churches and Sunday schools behind banners with bands.

This history of local people from different cultures and community/faith organisations getting together to organise festivals should be celebrated! All that hard work and effort has helped bring people together and installed a sense of community pride.

So maybe we need a new Pitsmoor Summer festival? Should it be smaller, bigger, different? What do you think?

Clare Burnell

The Messenger replies:

In recent years Abbeyfield Festival has usually been organised by a committee of local volunteers. If any Messenger readers would like to be involved with making a festival happen in 2016 please get in touch via – hopefully enough people will come forward to form a Festival Committee!

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The content on this page was added to the website by Graham Jones on 2016-01-13 17:48:14.
The content of the page was last modified by Graham Jones on 2016-01-19 18:16:02.

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