Swindon’s traditional Children’s Fete is on track to celebrate its 150th Anniversary on Saturday 9 July in the GWR Park, Faringdon Road.
But organisers are seeking people who can help steward the day to help make it a safe and successful event. They need to find approximately 40 stewards, working in shifts, to cover the entire event, which runs from 12pm to 10pm. If you can help, mail email@example.com
Although the day is primarily focused around children, families and young people, it is aimed at all ages and generations. Co-organiser Hannah Parry said: “It really is a town-wide event which seeks to provide entertainment for everyone. We want to celebrate our heritage but also our town today – its current day culture and community. There’s so much great stuff happening in the town, we really want to pull it all together and just show it off a bit.”
The event coincides with the 175th Anniversary of ‘New Swindon’, when the GWR agreed to build a locomotive maintenance works in the town.
Hannah added: “We’re expecting record numbers to attend the event this year and are working hard to involve as many other community groups in the event as possible. Swindon Dance and Prime Theatre are producing special performances which tell the story of the first workers who came here from across the country, bringing their various skills, to work on the railways and start the beginning of the town we know today.”
“The event will run into the evening with local live bands playing, programmed by Swindon Shuffle – the town’s original music festival, with a final circus performance and fireworks at 10pm.
“Many other groups are involved including Falding’s Fandangos, Artsite and Lower Shaw Farm. We want the event to represent Swindon’s community in the widest sense possible.”
Daytime activities start at 12noon, with performances, arts and sports activities, circus workshops, face-painting, funfairs and other fun. Cake will be given to children at 4pm, which is one of the elements of the historical event the Trust have managed to keep every year, and then there will be a main performance at 4.30pm.
The event, which first began in 1866 and is Swindon’s oldest community event, was established by the first generation of Great Western Railway workers. The original event ran right up until the Second World War, but was resurrected by the Mechanics’ Institution Trust in 2003 and run almost every year The last lottery supported fete Lottery took place in 2012 when 7,000 Swindonians attended. With this being the anniversary year, organisers are expecting to attract crowds of up to 10,000 this year, so it’s crucial to bring together a team of stewards. Mail firstname.lastname@example.org to help.
Pictured top: Crowds attending the Childrens Fete photographed in the early 19th Century by William Hooper