So I admit to having been a bit distracted over the last couple of months. The Shelswell History Festival did become all consuming. The planning group put in hour upon hour of work, things got rather fraught at times, and I was not the only one having sleepless nights. And now it's been and gone. Was it worth it, you may well ask!
Yes. most definately. It wasn't perfect - we spread things out too much, the ticket pricing needs further attention, and the publicity could have been better. But the overwhelming majority of people went away sayings they has a good time!
I was particularly struck by -
-the excitement and pride shown by people as they prepared displays about their village, and the extraordinary facts that they uncovered.
-the buss in the Village Displays Tent as people were facinated to find out about our Shelswell villages
- the children from Southwold School leaving tired but thrilled from their encounters with Saxons and Civil War folk
- the relaxed buzz in the tea tent as people enjoyed catching up with folk that they hadn't seen for ages and making new acquaintances
- old friends who lived in Mixbury many years ago but had lost touch reunited through an old school photo in the Mixbury display
- the culinary skills in the Benefice, demonstrated in an extraordinary array of cakes and pastries
- the fun has by those preparing the play
- the girl from Southwold School who insisted on bringing her family to the Festival on the following day
- the delightful sight of 17th. century clad re-enactors coming into our community worship
- the extraordinary things that people keep in their barns / garages / attics and their generosity in lending them as props
- the tenacity of the planning group, the generosity of those patrons, sponsors and advertisers who gave the Festival much needed financial backing, the kindness of folk from all the villages who responded to the plea for volunteers and gave their time and energy in heaps, the helpfulness of those dropped what they were doing in order to come and put up a tent or take down a tent or transport chairs and tables from villages
It was worth it because through the Festival we saw the communities within the Shelswell Benefice at their very best, coming together, pulling together, working together, having fun together. Thank you so muchAlice Goodall, Rector