A weekend of festival delights for village

Washington Festival 3 SUS-140107-164858001
Washington Festival 3 SUS-140107-164858001

A village festival weekend saw flowers, scarecrows, beautiful gardens, music and competitions.

Washington’s Festival Weekend attracted a bumper turnout, with the combination of a Flower Festival in the lovely St Mary’s Church, the chance to explore the impressive garden at the Old Vicarage and also be amused by an enterprising selection of scarecrows, entered by both children and adults in a competition and displayed throughout the village.

The event started on Friday with the opening of the Flower Festival at the lovely 19th century church, nestling at the foot of the downs.

The Festival, organised by Annie Simmonds, had a theme of Bible Stories and Parables and had some striking displays throughout the church, attracting a steady flow of visitors throughout the weekend.

The Old Vicarage opened its gardens on Saturday and Sunday under the National Garden Scheme for its charities, offering a rare opportunity to explore the magnificent garden set around the 1832 Regency style house.

Visitors enjoyed a stunning view of the North Downs at the rear of the house, and everything from mature trees to herbaceous borders, a large pond and stream at the rear. The front of the house is formally laid out with topiary, a large lawn and mixed borders.

On Saturday evening, Welsh tenor Ben Smith, of Only Men Aloud, performed at St Mary’s Church with soprano Rowan Pierce, cellist Leah Evans and pianist/violinist David Larkin, with Ben singing a selection of well-known light classics as well as songs from favourite musicals.

Scarecrows were back in the village, thanks to organisation of the competition by Trisha Cook. Numerous scarecrows of all shapes and sizes were in spots around the village, with visitors able to wander round the scarecrow route and vote for their favourites. Winner of the adult category was Mr Mole by Sue Muddle, and joint winners in the children’s section were Emma Varley and Hair Crow, and the Alexanders with The Mad Hatter.

All money raised, with the exception of the Open Garden for the NGS, will be used to benefit the village.

If you attended Washington Festival, send the County Times your pictures.