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Woodford festival gets underway this weekend

PUBLISHED: 10:50 01 October 2016

Woodford Festival

Woodford Festival

Anny Wortley-Millek

If you walk around Woodford this weekend, expect to see music, dancing, poetry and theatre on every corner, as a nine-day festival gets underway.

From October 1-9, the Woodford Festival, which is in its seventh year, will see venues across the greater Woodford area transformed into culture hotspots.

Geoff Seeff, vice-chairman of the Woodford Festival Association, said he was excited to see the hard work pay off.

“It’s been a big undertaking, but it will be absolutely brilliant,” he told the Recorder.

The future of the community event looked in doubt earlier this year, after the chairman fell ill.

Geoff said: “After Paul [Holifield] had major heart surgery earlier this year, I have been acting as chairman.

“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s a great community festival.”

The festival will launch on Saturday with an opening ceremony attended by the Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Gurdial Bhamra.

The event will include a 30-minute organ recital and performance from the Rock Choir at St Mary’s Church, High Road, South Woodford, from 11am to 12.15pm.

The festival is organised by volunteers and is all about celebrating the community, said Geoff.

“There’s definitely something for everyone,” he told the Recorder.

“With more than 70 events across 35 venues, there is something going on everywhere.”

The first festival took place in 2008 and has grown to attracting more than 10,000 residents over nine days.

This year, highlights include an open day at the Hurst House gardens, an arts and crafts fair and food tastings.

Anny Wortley-Millek, a fellow organiser, said the open day at Hurst House, Broomhill Walk, Woodford Green, on Saturday between 2pm and 5pm, would be a particular highlight.

“This is Woodford’s oldest listed building,” she said.

“The entrance charge will be donated to Haven House [children’s hospice] and residents can wander around, listening to jazz while tea and cake is served on the lawn.”

An open day at Woodford fire station, Snakes Lane, on October 8, is set to be great fun for all the family. “That is always very busy!” said Anny.

“Especially for children who want to be firefighters, they can come along and see what it is like.”

Other festival highlights include a church service, which all of God’s creatures, including those with four paws and floppy ears, can attend, at Holy Trinity Church, Hermon Hill, on Sunday at 10.15am.

There will also be a beer festival, a musicathon, plenty of music events and a magic show.

Before and during the festival, volunteers dressed in canary yellow will be busy promoting events around the Woodford

area.

Anny said: “You won’t be able to miss us!

“We hope people come along and enjoy.”

To view the full programme and for more information, visit woodfordfestival.org.uk.


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