Free festival still going strong after 40 years

Walsworth Festival in 1975. Pic by Janet Walker Collection

Walsworth Festival in 1975. Pic by Janet Walker Collection - Credit: Archant

Organisers of the largest free festival in North Hertfordshire have been reminiscing about the early days of Walsworth Festival as they prepare for the upcoming event in May.

Walsworth Festival 1974 Brenda, Plum, Festival Queen. Pic by Janet Walker Collection

Walsworth Festival 1974 Brenda, Plum, Festival Queen. Pic by Janet Walker Collection - Credit: Archant

The Comet has been supplied with photographs of Walsworth Festival in Hitchin dating back to the inaugural event in 1974 and are calling for readers to share their stories of years gone by.

Walsworth School of Dance in 1974. Pic by Janet Walker Collection

Walsworth School of Dance in 1974. Pic by Janet Walker Collection - Credit: Archant

This year’s Walsworth Festival will be held on Sunday, May 18, on Walsworth Common and at St Faith’s Church in Woolgrove Road, Hitchin.

The festival, founded by St Faith’s Church with a Miss Walsworth competition, a procession and a service, has been held for the past 40 years.

This year there will be ferret racing, vintage cars and the Letchworth Morris Men, as well as music and dance acts, a mini funfair, and numerous stalls and games.


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The popular scout train, a Punch and Judy show and a magician will also be entertaining the crowds, while a wide variety of refreshments will be available.

The festival will run from 11am until 4pm on Walsworth Common and will be opened by the chairman of North Herts District Council Jane Gray.

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St Faith’s Church opens at 1pm, and will play host to performances of music and dance from schools and groups.

Member of the organising committee, Alan Millard, said: “I had the pleasure of photographing the very first event. When we first started holding the festival we had a week long celebration and now we have it over a weekend, which is just as successful. I look forward to photographing this year’s festival, which is set to be a great event.”

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