Past and present on show at Letchworth celebration weekend

A FUN-PACKED weekend is all set to celebrate a garden city’s heritage, starting today.

Live music, animals, a funfair, horse-drawn carriage rides, stalls, stands and displays of every description will fill Letchworth GC’s Broadway Gardens all day from 10am-6pm this Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday with this year’s big summer event from Letchworth Arts Centre.

The event celebrates the town’s heritage and, in the words of the popular TV programme, asks: ‘Who Do You Think You Are, Letchworth?’

Like the original pioneers, it aims to bring town and country together, with sheep-shearing demonstrations, chickens including speciality local breeds such as Hertfordshire honeys, micro-pigs, craft displays, period costumes, and more.

But it will also be very much of the present, with tours of Letchworth’s new eco-homes development, a hybrid cars display, practical advice on solar energy and bee-keeping, and a host of other activities.

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Visitors from Utopian developments that preceded Letchworth or were inspired by it such as Saltaire, Port Sunlight, Bournville, Hampstead Garden Suburb, Brentham Garden Suburb, Welwyn Garden City, and Harlow New Town – all places visited on the Arts Centre’s coach trips in the run-up to the Celebration weekend – will be mounting displays, along with the Garden City Heritage Foundation and local museums.

There will be masses to eat and drink, including a barbecue laid on by Church Farm, Ardeley.

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On the Saturday, there will also be live music from 10am-3pm in Leys Square, as well as the live music in Broadway Gardens on both days.

Promising a weekend of fun for all the family, the event is supported by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Other Celebration activities include projects with local schools, one of which is producing a new booklet about Letchworth’s historic Cheap Cottages exhibitions. For more information contact Maria Iredale, chief executive of Letchworth Arts Centre, on 01462 670788.

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