Bedford Park Festival 2009

Preparations well under way for annual Green Days and Festival events

Dates For Your Diary

Green Days weekend: June 13th and 14th, Festival Mass and Bedford Park Open Gardens: Sunday June 28th.


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It's only a matter of weeks to Green Days weekend (June 13th and 14th) and the start of the Bedford Park Festival, Chiswick's biggest community event and one of the highlights of the local year.

Preparations are well under way and organisers are lining up an exciting programme, both for Green Days weekend and the two-week Festival that follows, major events and celebrities will be announced on nearer the time.

Want to participate?

  • Singers wanted for the Festival Mass, Haydn's Harmoniemesse (rehearsals on Tuesdays 9-10pm, starting April 27th) All welcome. Contact: Jonathan Dods:
  • Plus photographers for the Photographic Exhibition, and various talents for the ‘Bedford Park’s Got Talent’ contest, the children's fancy dress parade, and the junior 5-a-side football. For details of how to enter, watch the notice boards, emails or St Michaels’ website where there are photos and lots of details about the Festival:
  • Gardens wanted for the Bedford Park Open Gardens on Sunday 28th. Contact: Sue Porter:
  • Green Days: help with the Craft Fair, music performances, refreshments, the beer tent, the barbecue, book stall, international food, plants, children's corner, 5-a-side football, skittles, champagne lottery, recycling and the heavy gang, who put it all up and take it down again.
  • Concerts and events: backstage and technical teams, to help with sound and lighting, film projection, moving pews and chairs, assembling the stage. The Junior Choir musical needs help with make-up, costumes, props, set design and production. Contact Michael Robinson:
  • Catering: cooking, preparing canapés, serving drinks/teas. Jane Trigle:
  • Front of house: selling tickets, ushering, bar staff. Sue Jordan:
  • Publicity: writing releases, preparing and designing leaflets and posters, putting up posters and banners, contacting the media, updating the website. Torin Douglas:
  • Admin tasks: various roles, some needing computer skills.
  • Children's Clothes Stall: Clothes, fancy dress outfits and excellent-condition shoes wanted, for children from birth to 14-ish. Please arrange with the Parish Office (8994 1380) to leave them in the vestry on a Tuesday, for collection. Contact Vicky Brooke:
  • High Roller Tombola: new items for prizes, including unwanted new gifts: Bottles of wine and spirits; Bottles of olive oil and packaged, non-perishable foodstuff; Smart toiletries - soaps, perfume, candles; Wallets, purses, photo frames, scarves; New toys, books, CDs and DVD's; Tickets for theatres, concerts and sports events; Weekends at hotels or sport clubs. Contact Sally Haigh:
  • Win a Meal: Now - help wanted to sign up restaurants to donate a free meal for two. On Green Days - help on the stall in two-hour slots. Contact Kevin Wilson:
  • Books: Soon, second-hand books please. Helen Wareham:
  • Plant stall. Now, please start growing plants to sell on the stall (watch out for our Grow Your Own advice session next month): Contact Carol Douglas:

What has the Bedford Park Festival ever done for us?

The Festival was launched in June 1967 by the then vicar of St Michael & All Angels, with the enthusiastic support of the Bedford Park Society and its patron John Betjeman.

Its purpose was to rekindle a sense of community, celebrate the arts and raise money for urgent repairs to the church. But it also helped preserve the area from demolition, laying the foundations for Bedford Park’s current prosperity. In the Sixties, property developers (including the council) were knocking down houses to build blocks of flats.

The first Festival included an exhibition demonstrating the architectural importance of Bedford Park, the world's first garden suburb. Within a month, 365 houses had been listed and soon it was declared a conservation area by Ealing and Hounslow Councils (the full story is in Bevis Hillier’s John Betjeman: The Biography).

“The best day after Christmas Day!”

The Festival has taken place every June since then - still organised by St Michael & All Angels - and is now the largest community event in Chiswick, attracting thousands of people on Green Days weekend. It is the centrepiece of St Michaels’ work in the community and raises money for charities as well as the upkeep and outreach of the church.

It helped raise £500,000 for the rebuilding of the Parish Hall in 2000, and to pay for the recent repair and refurbishment of the church. It has supported local charities, such as St Mary’s Convent & Nursing Home, the Upper Room, the Microloan Foundation, and Musequality, as well as Unicef, Brain Tumour Research and the Study of Infant Deaths.

It can also lift the spirits. One mother told us her son thinks Green Days is “the best day after Christmas Day”. One email read: ”I just wanted to drop you a quick line to express my personal appreciation of all the fantastic work that has gone into making this year’s Festival such a huge success. Apart from the religious, cultural and fun aspects of the Festival, I think it plays a very important role in helping to bind our community together...” So please don’t miss it!

What’s happening this year?

There’ll be the usual mix of one-off concerts, dramas and talks and all the favourites - the Bedford Park Summer Exhibition, children's musical (this year: Annie Get Your Gun), poetry evening, Bedford Park Open Gardens, Bedford Park Walk, photographic exhibition, Festival Mass and Lunch, and Rosalind Leney’s concerts. The programme will be published in May.

Our two-day Green Days fete, opposite St Michaels, will have stalls, fairground attractions, live music, craft fair, children's fancy dress competition and talent contest, with plenty of food and drink at the beer and refreshments tents and the barbecue. You can see more here:

Our pioneering Keep Green Days Green campaign ensures all waste is recycled and there'll be other environmental activities - so if you're actively green and would like to help with that, please contact Wendy Callister: .

March 26, 2009