The annual Hartley Wintney Festival took place on Saturday 13th June 2015, drawing a bigger crowd than ever before.
Speaking to Bill Bishop of the Rotary Club of Hart, who has been involved since the first Hartley Wintney Festival 25 years ago, the event has gone from strength to strength.
Starting as a small village festival more traders, activities and visitors have taken part over the years. The festival is limited by the size of the village green, though as organisers and attendees are keen to keep the traditional feel of a local village festival, involving local businesses, organisations and residents, it’s not such a bad thing.
Despite the challenges of putting on the festival, local groups like Hart Rotary, Hook & Odiham Lions, Friends of Hartley Wintney and the Scouts all pull together to make it happen. With such experienced event organisers working on the festival it is carried out somewhat like a military operation.
After months of planning and preparation the festival appears, as if by magic in the middle of Hartley Wintney. At first the stalls and arena are all but a ghost town then, as the procession makes its way from Greenfields School the crowds begin to appear.
The lively procession led by a marching band included local scout groups (accompanied by scout hut float), Morris Men, a fire engine, classic cars, and children from local schools in fancy dress appearing as ‘minions’ and Dalmatians!
Village festival staples such as the tug-of-war, children’s races and performances drew big crowds around the arena, the arena schedule jam packed with entertainment and events. The always popular BBQ (sponsored by Mackenzie Smith) sold out of burgers, proceeds going to the Rotarians.
Stephen Tetlow from Mackenzie Smith in Hartley Wintney was disappointed not to be able to spend as much time at the festival as he would usually like to. “Our diary was absolutely packed with appointments and with cars parking everywhere in the village it was a challenge to get around. I usually like to go and mingle but only had a few minutes for a quick look around this year.” commented Stephen.
As quickly as the festival arrived, it was gone. With great effort from all involved the stalls and every spec of litter had vanished within a matter of hours. On Sunday you would never had thought the festivities had occurred the previous day.
Photographs with kind permission of Paul Morriss of Hook and Odiham Lions.
What happened at Hartley Wintney Festival in 2015
- 12.30pm Departure of the Procession from Greenfields School
- 1.15pm Arrival of the Procession in the Arena and Presentation of Prizes
- 1.30pm Presentation of cheque to St Michael’s Hospice
- 1.40pm Display by the Old Basing Royal British Legion Corps of Drums
- 2.10pm Orwell School of Dance
- 2.30pm Children’s Races – Children up to & including 7 years
- 3.00pm YEM Theatre School – YEM Rock Choir
- 3.25pm Children’s Races – Children aged 8 and over
- 3.50pm Ladies Tug of War
- 4.15pm Classic Car Parade
- 4.30pm Men’s Tug Of War
- 5.00pm Finish