Fair Field is the junior school on the Watford Road at the edge of Radlett. I’m not impartial (I’m chair of the school’s governors and I’ve got kids there) but it’s an extraordinary place. Full of life and creativity, with a young and hard-working team, lovely children and parents who are unfailingly enthusiastic about the place. It was the school’s amazing PTA who organised yesterday’s Summer Fair. It was enormous fun, absolutely packed and will inevitably have raised a lot of money for the school. Highlights? The school choir’s performance of songs from Oliver, the Radlett Gymnastics Club’s exhibition performance, the gorgeous tones of Borehamwood Brass – and chatting with so many lovely Fair Field people.
Here’s another episode of the Radlett Wire podcast, a montage of sounds from the Fair.
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The 45th annual exhibition closed last weekend and I dropped into the Radlett Centre for a chat with Carmen Beal, the society’s chair, on the final morning. She reported another successful show – local artists exhibited and sold works in all media – and urged me to let you know that the society is always eager to welcome new members from the area for its programme of events, lectures and exhibitions. If you’d like to know more or to join, let me know and I’ll pass on your details to Carmen.
Every year, pupils from Fair Field Junior school come down the exhibition for a tour of the work and some inspiration (two years ago they exhibited their own work in the show). This year they were brought by art teacher Jacqueline Voyce and The Watford Observer covered the visit.
For your listening pleasure, a montage of sounds from last weekend’s Radlett Festival. You will hear Gavin from Tzar in the High Street; Louis (selling cakes for a charity whose name he can’t remember); Nicola and Louise from Radlett Ladies’ Circle (poker nights, cocktails, chocolate but apparently no crochet classes); Nicolai, a governor at Fair Field and St John’s; an anonymous woman apparently looking for some Morris men; the intrepid founder of Salsa Brava, Radlett’s own (only?) artisan salsa manufacturer; the quite unhinged people from Radlett Players; Graham Taylor, chair of the Radlett Society (with his really wonderful Aldenham walkers’ map).
I could (and really should) have spoken to so many more people on that rainy day. I missed the Morris men all together and definitely should have spoken to Ricky Lopez and the nice people from Bhaktivedanta Manor (who were there with their lovely free food as usual). Next time!
Yes, it rained all day. Yes, the dog show lacked its usual glossy sheen in the downpour. But the Ricky Lopez Ratpack Show proceeded with pizazz worthy of Palm Springs and Clive Glover, one of the organisers, tweeted on Monday that over 1,000 attended the festival during the day so I expect that the event will still have raised a substantial sum for the charities and local organisations it supports (I’ll try to update on that once the details are available). I was taking photos and recording audio of the event (which I’ll publish later) and literally everyone I spoke to during the day was relentlessly chirpy about the whole thing. A proper British Summer treat, in fact.
All the photos on Flickr are published under a Creative Commons licence, which means you may use them without permission and for free. You just need to provide a credit or a link back if you use them. Let me know if you do. And if you’re in any of the pics or you know the names of those who are, please add a comment or a note to let me know.
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.