Walsworth Festival 2018: Fun in the sun is a massive hit

PUBLISHED: 15:59 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:07 21 May 2018

Walsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan Millard

Archant

The best in years – that was the general feeling yesterday at Hitchin’s Walsworth Festival.

Walsworth Festival 2018: Lesnick School of Ballet and Theatre Arts. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Lesnick School of Ballet and Theatre Arts. Picture: Alan Millard

The volunteer-run event, billed as the largest free family festival in North Herts, has been held on Walsworth Common every May since 1974.

It had been feared the 2017 festival would be the last – but committee chairman Oonagh Sherlock’s rallying cry through the Comet six months ago brought in a lot of new volunteers.

The result was a sun-drenched Sunday of fun at one of the best-attended Walsworth Festivals in recent memory.

Walsworth Festival 2018: North Herts District Council chairman John Bishop enjoys getting inked with a blue dinosaur at the Hitchin East Girlguides stand, as festival committee chairwoman Oonagh Sherlock and guide leader Jo Clinch look on. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: North Herts District Council chairman John Bishop enjoys getting inked with a blue dinosaur at the Hitchin East Girlguides stand, as festival committee chairwoman Oonagh Sherlock and guide leader Jo Clinch look on. Picture: Alan Millard

Oonagh told the Comet: “It all went fantastically well. Thank you to everyone who made the day so fabulous, and special thanks to all the volunteers who gave their time before, during and after the festival. We couldn’t run it without them.”

Highlights included the medieval antics of 15th-century re-enactment group the Companie of the Silver Arrow, Dennis the Fire Engine and the Ladder 87 team, Hitchin Belles footballers and the Purwell Panthers cheerleaders.

There were also performances from the Hitchin Youth Brass Band, the Letchworth Morris Men, Ambition Dance Academy, Crystalites, the Lesnick School of Ballet and the Hitchin School of Russian Ballet.

Walsworth Festival 2018: North Herts District Council chairman John Bishop, festival chairman Oonagh Sherlock and Walsworth councillor Elizabeth Dennis with a teddy bear. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: North Herts District Council chairman John Bishop, festival chairman Oonagh Sherlock and Walsworth councillor Elizabeth Dennis with a teddy bear. Picture: Alan Millard

Stevenage & District Scouts’ Lookwide Express landtrain toured the common all day – and there were classic cars on hand, courtesy of Felix Camfield-Walker from Farley’s hair salon.

There were also craft stalls in Walsworth Community Centre on the other side of Woolgrove Road, and events in St Faith’s Church including the Purwell and Priory school choirs, and Egyptian dancing with the Banat Al Gharb group.

Oonagh is to step down as festival chairman at the next annual meeting after seven years running the show.

Walsworth Festival 2018: The Letchworth Morris Men enjoy the crowds. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: The Letchworth Morris Men enjoy the crowds. Picture: Alan Millard

In the festival programme, she wrote: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone with whom I have worked on this fabulous festival over the years, and look forward to it continuing for many years to come.”

Next year’s Walsworth Festival is in the diary for Sunday, May 19, 2019. If you’d like to get involved, call 07401 810921 or email info@walsworthfestival.co.uk.

Walsworth Festival 2018: The Letchworth Morris Men enjoy the crowds. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: The Letchworth Morris Men enjoy the crowds. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the bumper cars. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the bumper cars. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: The Lesnick School of Ballet and Theatre Arts enjoy the day. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: The Lesnick School of Ballet and Theatre Arts enjoy the day. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: The Stevenage landtrain that circled the common all day. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: The Stevenage landtrain that circled the common all day. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Selling toys at the St Faith's Church stall. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Selling toys at the St Faith's Church stall. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: The Hitchin School of Russian Ballet. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: The Hitchin School of Russian Ballet. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Youngsters enjoy the medieval fighting. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Lesnick School of Ballet and Theatre Arts. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Lesnick School of Ballet and Theatre Arts. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Wrayfield Dog Agility's show at the festival. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Wrayfield Dog Agility's show at the festival. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Three-year-old Thomas Asher gets some air on his way down the inflatable slide. Picture: JP AsherWalsworth Festival 2018: Three-year-old Thomas Asher gets some air on his way down the inflatable slide. Picture: JP Asher

Walsworth Festival 2018: A youngster enjoys going down the slide. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: A youngster enjoys going down the slide. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Homemade cakes for sale with the Priory School music department. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Homemade cakes for sale with the Priory School music department. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Councillor David Levett with his homemade musical creation. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Councillor David Levett with his homemade musical creation. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: The Hitchin Youth Brass Band. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: The Hitchin Youth Brass Band. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Felix Camfield-Walker shows off his 1971 Volkswagen Beetle. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Felix Camfield-Walker shows off his 1971 Volkswagen Beetle. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: A child on the bungee jumping. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: A child on the bungee jumping. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: A child on the bungee jumping. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: A child on the bungee jumping. Picture: Alan Millard

Walsworth Festival 2018: Children on the fairground aeroplanes. Picture: Alan MillardWalsworth Festival 2018: Children on the fairground aeroplanes. Picture: Alan Millard

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