Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Gunnislake Festival review

We held a variety of events in our village from Wednesday to Saturday last week and this is a summary then of this year's Gunnislake Festival ...

Throughout the four days there was a display of local professional art in the Church Hall, this was a very diverse mix of styles and well arranged as always by Ian. I have to admit that I'm not really into art and wouldn't feel an overwhelming need to hang pictures in my cottage. Having said this I am in awe of much of the work produced by the talented artists of the Tamar Valley and was very very impressed with the patience, imagination and attention to detail that so many of them show. So I know what I like but wouldn't want to purchase anything!

On the Wednesday evening we enjoyed our traditional local history talk of the festival. This year Brian took us on a virtual journey, courtesy of his laptop, of the walk local shipbuilder James Goss would have taken from Gunnislake to his shipyard across the river from Calstock. An excellent hour enjoyed by all who attended. Still on the local history front Mandy once again put on a really splendid exhibition, this year particularly highlighting the tremendous range of shops that used to operate in the village. Great nostalgia especially for the more senior citizens. I wish I could have spent more time viewing it.

Another exhibition was in the Church and related to some of the very old families in the village. This wasn't strictly part of the Festival but was organised by local residents Victor and Nancy as a further item of interest to coincide with the other events.

Saturday was the main Festival Day and the most demanding for yours truly. We closed one street (with previous approval of course!) and arranged for there to be live entertainment and stalls. This year one of our two delightful Japanese ladies living in the village, Tamani, was there to talk about sushi and had samples for sale but sadly I didn't get to try them. In addition to my post as secretary I had arranged the live music which kicked off at 12 o'clock with 'The Rubber Band' who amongst their more traditional repertoire featured 'Tico-Tico' (at my special request allegedly!), 'Mr Sandman' and 'Hernando's Hideaway'. These are all great tunes that have been around for a very long time but have a timeless appeal. In fact that phrase "timeless appeal" can be applied to the band itself I guess. The gospel singers and friends had a spot and it was good to have the return of Kerensa (hammered dulcimer) and Richard (fiddle) who together form 'Leski'. Stevie Mann rounded off the musical entertainment in the street although there was more music to come from the local pubs in the evening as indeed there had been on the three previous days.

A bouncy castle and face painting were provided for the many young children enjoying the day.

What turned out to be so lucky for us this year was the very narrow window of good weather on Saturday afternoon. On Friday and Sunday there were torrential downpours and Saturday morning itself didn't start off well weatherwise but as to the six hours of outside entertainment we didn't have a drop of rain! Someone up there was smiling on us.

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