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Entertainment aplenty as town’s summer festival gets under way

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:11 11 July 2018

The first leg of the Bungay Festival ale trail, with organiser Fudge Farrar, standing third right. Picture: Terry Reeve.

The first leg of the Bungay Festival ale trail, with organiser Fudge Farrar, standing third right. Picture: Terry Reeve.

Archant

Two weeks of entertainment got under way in Bungay at the weekend with the launch of the town’s annual summer festival.

Town reeve Stephen Went at the Bungay Festival opening ceremony. Picture: Terry Reeve.Town reeve Stephen Went at the Bungay Festival opening ceremony. Picture: Terry Reeve.

It was a slightly quieter start than usual, with families gearing up for England’s World Cup quarter-final match with Sweden on Saturday afternoon.

The special occasion meant there were not too many children around for Bungay Rotary Club’s traditional contribution to the summer festival, the Kids’ Fun Day held at Castle Meadow.

But there were still enough to enjoy a variety of races in the hot sunshine including egg-and-spoon, obstacle races, and the popular water relay, all organised by the Bungay Black Dog Running Club.

The afternoon also included an energetic display of dancing by members of the Centre Stage Academy of Dance - entertainment warmly appreciated by the audience. A variety of stalls set up by local organisations also provided interest for those there.

The Bungay Festival opening ceremony at the castle. Picture: Terry Reeve.The Bungay Festival opening ceremony at the castle. Picture: Terry Reeve.

The event followed the flag raising ceremony at the castle to mark the start of this year’s festival.

Town mayor Mick Lincoln and town reeve Stephen Went both called on people to support the programme of activities, and thanked the festival committee for organising another great line-up.

The Rev Roger Allen gave a blessing on the festival, before the two dignitaries ceremonially raised the Bigod Flag at the castle, where it will flutter until the closing ceremony on July 22.

Saturday’s activities also included a festival market at the Butter Cross, organised by the Bungay Country Market, with producers of a variety of goods doing brisk business.

Town mayor Mick Lincoln at the Bungay Festival opening ceremony. Picture: Terry Reeve.Town mayor Mick Lincoln at the Bungay Festival opening ceremony. Picture: Terry Reeve.

The Fisher Theatre also organised a children’s kite making competition, calling for designs in keeping with the festival theme, the 330th anniversary of the Great Fire of Bungay of 1688. The winner of the best designed kite, Mellissa Pull, aged seven, received her prize from Mr Went.

Then on Monday, the first leg of the festival ale trail took place as around 20 enthusiasts visited five pubs in the town - the Castle Inn, Green Dragon, Three Tuns, Fleece and finally The Chequers.

The event was organised by Fudge Farrar, who also drew up a cryptic quiz in which all the answers were the names of pubs there have been in Bungay over the past 200 years.

The second leg of the ale trial will take the form of a mystery tour of some of the pubs in villages around Bungay, on a vintage bus on Monday, July 23.

Nicci Gerrard, left, and Sean French with Good Read Group chairman Wendy Robinson. Picture: Terry Reeve.Nicci Gerrard, left, and Sean French with Good Read Group chairman Wendy Robinson. Picture: Terry Reeve.

Good Read Group

The Bungay Good Read Group festival event enjoyed an absorbing and entertaining talk by husband and wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French at the library on Monday evening.

The couple write together as Nicci French, and told a large audience how that works successfully, and how it developed their popular psychological thrillers, including the Freida Klein series.

They said it was a technique which took discipline and trust in each other’s work as they developed story lines and characters with which readers could identify and become close to.

The couple, who also write individually under their own names, and who are both former journalists, answered many questions, and later met the audience informally over wine and a finger buffet. They were welcomed by Good Read Group chairman Wendy Robinson, and thanked by Betty Warnes.

The library is currently closed while it undergoes redecoration and repair work.

Festival programme - week two

Saturday

Bungay Remembers – a display of Great War memorabilia, Royal British Legion Club, Priory Lane, 10am to 4pm.

The Bungay Bake Off Coffee Morning, competition for adults to decorate a cake and children to decorate a cup cake, Emmanuel Church Rooms. 10.30am, book in advance, £3 adults, £1 children, Val Page 01986 897171.

Concert by the Mozart Orchestra, with work by Stravinsky, Dvorak and Mendelssohn, St Mary’s Church, 7.30pm, tickets £12, Terry Reeve 01986 896416, New Beginnings, Earsham Street, in aid of the NSPCC.

Sunday

Godric Way Cycle Ride, start at the Butter Cross, 10am, free.

Tower Tours, St Mary’s Church, 2pm to 4.30pm, donations to St Mary’s.

Monday

Festival Monday, with a vegetarian meal, Honeypot Community Centre, 7pm, tickets £7.50, children £4, from Wightmans Market Place, or Moth, Upper Olland Street.

Tuesday

Rising More Glorious: Bungay’s Resurrection after the Great Fire – a guided tour investigating the effect of the fire and the town’s rebuilding, start from the Market Place, 2.30pm, £5 on the day.

Thursday

An historical tour of Earsham Hall, guided tour followed by afternoon tea, 2.15pm, £20.50.

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