Allan Beaver, now 77, is widely acknowledged to be the moving force behind the Radlett Festival, responsible for its revival in 2004 and for much of its success – as a fun day out and as an impressive source of charitable funding for local projects – over £40,000 has been raised and dispersed to charity since 2004.
He spoke to me in the lovely ‘teen shelter’ at Phillimore Rec – part-funded by the Festival of course – on the weekend before the festival. It’s a fascinating story – a potted history of Allan’s time in Radlett with his wife Muriel, touching on his business Beaver Travel, his academic life (he’s a professor), his writing and, of course, the Festival itself.
He generously credits the rest of the enthusiastic festival team. The festival starts at noon today and, although it’s raining as I type this, I suspect it’ll be another hit.
If you can’t attend, or if you want to catch up with the excitement before you go, you can tune in two hours of live coverage from noon on our local radio station, Radio Verulam, 92.6FM, or online.
Download the MP3. More pictures of Allan on Flickr. This is an episode from the Radlett Wire podcast. Get every episode delivered to your computer for free here.
It wasn’t long ago that Radlett’s policy on kids hanging around up at the Phillimore Rec was to hire a security firm to move them on (a parish council leaflet boasted of the success of this policy) but that all changed last Summer when Hertsmere erected a clever shelter at the edge of the playing field. It’s a warm-toned wooden affair that acknowledges the need for teens (and pensioners, for that matter) to just hang out.
It’s not meant to provide real shelter from the elements but it’s got some seating and it’d probably protect you from a shower. It’s an intriguing enhancement to the park. Annick Collins is a partner in the small firm of architects that designed the shelter, Superblue. She emailed me to tell me that the Radlett shelter has been included in a ‘top ten’ list by architecture blog Architizer – alongside some quite awesome structures from all over the world. Since it’s reasonable to assume Hertsmere won’t be building anything like it for the foreseeable future, I think we should make the best of our one world-beating structure.