Giant bouncing kangaroos, a uni-cycling juggler and an Abba tribute band form just part of an exciting line-up of entertainment being staged as Swindon hosts the UK Corporate Games 2006.
To celebrate the sporting occasion, which comes to town this weekend 2 to 4 June, Swindon Borough Council is hosting a massive free festival of family fun for local people.
Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, has agreed to visit Lydiard Park on Friday, 2 June to open the Games and launch the Swindon festivities for the Games.
The Princess Royal will be visiting in her capacity as Honorary Patron of the Swindon 2006 Corporate Games.
Theatre and circus acts will provide roaming entertainment through the crowds as bands perform music to suit all tastes on stage at Lydiard Park.
Among bands performing will be local band Beat Bullyz and The Fat Cats who, despite their tender years, have adopted music they love from the forties and fifties and transformed it into something fresh, new and exciting.
Abba tribute band The Fabbagirls will bring to life fabulous tunes from the seventies while The Overtures will perform numbers which made the sixties a musical mega decade.
One of the most “in demand” party bands in the land, Lovetrain, will bring a fabulous fun atmosphere to Friday night.
And, for a mellow Sunday afternoon, local people can enjoy the toe-tapping summer sounds of the King Swingers.
Roaming entertainment will include a dazzling selection of circus performers, comedians and theatre groups.
Artists to wow the crowds include Jake the Juggler, who has been a feature of festivals all over the country and abroad including Glastonbury, Denmark, Slovenia and South America.
Australian performance troupe Icarus will thrill younger audiences as they roam dressed as giant bouncing kangaroos. All-women troupe Circus Rum Ba Ba combine stunning costumes with dramatic performance in acts bound to entertain.
And, as well as performing on stage, six-piece band Weapons of Sound will be holding a junk percussion workshop for would-be musicians.
Embracing the sporting theme, a team from English Heritage will play Georgian Cricket, to rules of the era and sporting period costume.
And, for armchair sports buffs, the live England verses Jamaica friendly football match will be on a large LED screen at Lydiard so visitors can enjoy the entertainment without missing the game.
Refreshments, including bars, Indian food and pasta, will be available at Lydiard Park so local people can make a day of it and enjoy all the entertainment on offer.
Swindon Borough Council cabinet member for leisure and culture Justin Tomlinson said: “I’m sure thousands of local people will make the most of such a fabulous free festival on their doorsteps and enjoy the fantastic line-up of entertainment on offer.”
“The UK Corporate Games 2006 is a great national event which will bring together the worlds of sport and business. It is wonderful that local people can be part of this by competing, watching the sports and enjoying the entertainment.”
Entertainment at Lydiard Park will be open to local people on Thursday (7pm-11pm), Friday (11am-11pm), Saturday (noon-8pm) and Sunday (noon-4pm).
To find out about all the acts set to perform during the Games weekend visit www.swindon.gov.uk/corporategames
Lost lake back in time for the games As Swindon prepares to welcome the UK Corporate Games, Lydiard Park is pulling out all the stops to ensure that this major event will be a triumph for Swindon writes Emma Valentine.
Ready for the Royal visitor, for the first time in over 100 years Lydiard?s ?lost? lake will be filled with water.
The reinstatement of the lake restores the beautiful setting to the handsome Palladian mansion that was remodelled under John, 2nd Viscount St John in the mid 18th Century.
In commissioning the work on the house and landscaping of the grounds, John St John would have been looking to raise his profile locally as the owner of a magnificent Palladian building and country estate, as well as demonstrating to the world that he was a man of taste and learning.
The remodelled house and grounds would have represented a new beginning for the St John family under his ownership, as represented by the John Nash engraving on the right.
Work began on excavating the lake in October 2005. Since then, over two acres of scrub and undergrowth have been cleared and several thousand tonnes of silt removed for productive reuse on site. The new spillway and culvert will carry any flood flows through the repaired dam embankment. The lake has filled naturally from the stream flowing through the lake, combined with springs and heavy rainfall in May, with 23,000 cubic metres of water.
Seeing the summer sun reflecting off this new feature of Swindon?s landscape will be well worth a visit over the games? weekend.
Glinting flags fly again atop Lydiard?s turrets
The three 18th Century swallow-tailed pennants or flags are now back on the turrets of Lydiard House. They were removed by local furniture restorer, Phillip Noble, who had to completely strip the flags and re-gild them with two layers of gold.
This painstaking work took many hours but was essential to preserve these historic artefacts for future generations. The removal and replacement of the flags coincided with work to re-lead the roof of all three turrets and now that they are back in place, they add to the beautiful external features of this magnificent Palladian mansion.