Horsham ‘s first English Festival could be become an annual event, say supporters.
Thousands were entertained over two days with a combination of traditional English dance, music, classic vehicles, traditional food, drink and entertainments.
Afterwards Dick Streeter, who was heavily involved in both days, said: “It was great to see the ideas we had worked on all come to fruition. Of course, the weather certainly helped us, it was really ‘steaming’ hot at times but with the right support from Horsham District Council, I feel we have set the foundations for a great new annual event for the town and I am proud to have been part of it.”
Samaritans event organiser Caroline Thomas was delighted with the Sunday saying, “I am very grateful to all of the volunteers, businesses and Horsham District Council which together helped us relaunch our annual Horsham Folk Club Day as the Horsham English Festival Sunday. Given its success I think the event has some real traction and I’m looking forward to reviewing what we did and what might be possible next year.”
Saturday’s Broadwood Day of Dance fill the town with a riot of colour, movement and sound as more Morris dancers than you could shake a stick at performed. This year more than 25 dancing ‘sides’ were represented, together with Saturday’s Carfax Local Produce and Craft market plus the new feature of a display of Morris Minor cars on the Forum.
Sunday’s Horsham Folk Club concert in aid of Crawley and Horsham Samaritans was extended with displays of classic cars from Arun Motors, the latest Jaguars from Harwoods and classic bikes from Dresda supported by over 20 privately owned classic British bikes including Nortons, Triumphs, Vincents and BSAs.
King Henry Eighth and his Tudor court and the Loxwood Joust brought more fun and more than a smattering of history to proceedings given weight by the evocative Traction engine farming contractor display from Horsham Traction Company.
Elsewhere in the Carfax, Hepworth’s brewery, Help the Aged’s Tea Marquee and the Horsham Rotary LINC bake stall vied for taste buds attention with hot street food from Garlic Wood Farm and Pig in a Jacket and the Pitcairn shell fish stall.
For children there were Busy Days face painting, a tea cups fun fair ride and traditional games including a coconut shy and the walking balloons stall in Swan Walk Shopping Centre.