Old Town Festival gets off to blooming good start

Bridlington town crier David Hinde, Priory 900 organiser Penelope Weston and Mayor Coun Terry Dixon during the Secret Gardens of Old Town event.
Bridlington town crier David Hinde, Priory 900 organiser Penelope Weston and Mayor Coun Terry Dixon during the Secret Gardens of Old Town event.

A host of ‘Secret Gardens’ were revealed at the weekend, as the 2013 Old Town Festival got off to a splendid start.

17 gardens were opened up so that visitors could have a look around places that are usually private - including, for the first time, an allotment.

Chair of the Festival. Diane Davison, said: “It was absolutely fabulous.

“The weather was phenomenal, being sunny both days. If it’s rainy only true gardeners attend, but if it’s nice then lots of people just enjoy looking round the gardens as a day out.

“The allotments are close to the Priory, and as there is such a big move nowadays towards people growing and making their own things, we thought that it might be inspiring for everyone to see what having an allotment was like.

“Another of the gardens was one that had been neglected for years before the current owners took over. They’ve only had one season so far to work on it, but it just showed what could be done in a short time.

“We also had large gardens with sculptures, and ‘pocket handkerchief’ small gardens, and one garden that is totally in the shade. We hope that people can take away ideas that they might use themselves.

“The weekend was a huge success, and got the festival off to a good start.”

Events continued with a scratch performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers in the Priory on Tuesday, and the Flower Festival in the Priory starts today (Thursday) and carries on until Sunday. It is open from 10am to 4pm and admission is free, whilst programmes cost £1 each.

There’s still time to get your tickets for tomorrow’s Festival Feast (Friday) in the marquee on Church Green at 7pm. For £15 you’ll get a good selection of meats, salads and vegetables, followed by puddings and cheese and biscuits, and there’s a bar and band to help the evening go with a buzz - dancing is not compulsory, but is encouraged!

The EYMS Brass Band is in concert at the Priory at 7.30pm on Saturday July 6 (tickets £7.50).

The main event – Old Town Day – is this Sunday from 11am to 5pm.

The day’s activities include a food and craft fair all along High Street and Church Green and the annual Old Town Show on Church Green – a fun village-style horticultural event including produce displays, flowers and handicrafts, a fun dog show, greyhound parade, and displays from Bridlington Classic Cars, Honda ‘Gold Wings’ Motor Bikes, tractors and engines, and East Coast Ferret Rescue.

There will also be the special town criers competition, with 12 criers in full regalia coming to compete from all over the country – including from Essex and Northumberland.

The Corps Of Drums will be opening the event at 10.50am with a long drum roll in Market Place, followed by a ‘Lock In The Stocks’ outside the Pack Horse Inn. Bridlington Town Crier David Hinde will read out the ‘punishments’ to be given, but it’s all in a good cause; Help The Heroes and the Multiple Sclerosis Society will benefit from funds raised.

The competing criers will then deliver their own ‘cries’, written specially for the competition.

At 12.30pm they will march down High Street to the Priory Church, led by the Yorkshire Band of the Royal British Legion.

Mrs Davison said: “Our Summer Festival is the highlight of our year in The Old Town, attracting locals, regular visitors and tourists. Old Town Day sees the area bursting with people.

This year the Town Criers competition will be a blaze of colour, heritage and pageantry - a new event to add to a day which has a food and craft fair, a traditional village show, dog show, greyhound parade, children’s rides and live music.”

More details of all the events can be found on the website: www.bridlingtonoldtown.org; tickets and information from the Old Town Gallery at 45 High Street or the Georgian Rooms, 56 High Street. Concert tickets for the Priory can also be bought in the Church shop or on the door.