A celebration of Cotswold life, crafts and heritage

Stow on the Wold

2017 Stow Cotswold Festival Programme

Saturday, July 15 2017

In the Arena

10:00 Morris Dancing - Ducklington Morris will be starting their annual ‘Day of Dance’ in the festival arena between 10am and 11am. They have guest sides attending and there should be 25-30 dancers taking part. Why not come along and enjoy a truly Cotswold spectacle?

11:00 - Welcome from the Town Crier

11:10 - Cotswold School Band - The Cotswold School Music Group, based in Bourton on the Water, have produced some of the finest talent over many years and we are proud that they have agreed to open this year’s Festival.

12:00 - Punch and Judy show (Sponsored by Butler Sherborn, Stow) - This year we welcome Professor Dogsbody to the Festival who will be performing four Punch and Judy sessions at the side of the main arena. The show has plenty of slapstick and is based on a traditional show much the same as your grandparents would have seen on the beach as children. A great attraction for all the family, young and old.

12:15 - Zumba demonstration - ‘Perfect For Everybody’ and every body! Krystyna and Claire will be running a Zumba demonstration mixing low and high-intensity moves in an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness session. Come along and watch but, if the Latin rhythms take over, please feel free to join in and you'll see why Zumba fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise.

13:00 - Punch and Judy show - Professor Dogsbody

13:20 - Caribbean Steel Band (Sponsored by William Hinton, Stow)Boil up Tropical have been playing together for 4 years now but individually they have over 25 years’ experience. They have travelled all over Europe playing and have recorded their music with several well-known artists.

14:20 - Punch and Judy show - Professor Dogsbody

14:40 - Salsa del Sol (Sponsored by Eastabrook Architects, Stow) - Thomas and Anna Melendez, founders of Salsa del Sol, run a leading salsa dance organisation in the Cotswolds. Established for over 17 years with four TV appearances, including, 'Strictly Dance Fever' and filmed for the BBC Gloucestershire Points West documentary about the pioneering NHS funded salsa dance scheme. Sit back and enjoy the demonstration or feel free to join in if the mood takes you.

15:30 - Punch and Judy show - Professor Dogsbody

15:50 - Beacon Gospel Choir - In 2006, The Beacon Gospel Choir came together as a means of helping people to find their voices and to learn the joy of using them to praise God. It is the conviction of the founders of the Beacon Gospel Choir that everyone can sing. Since those early days, the choir has grown and developed to something both excellent and joyful and we are pleased to welcome them to the Festival for the first time.

16:45 - Prize giving – Treasure Hunt, Guess the Monkey’s Birthday and the school’s summer raffle

17:00 - John Hayns - Circus Entertainer - "a sparkling blend of wit and illusion..." John Hayns is a member of the Magic Circle and Equity and has entertained audiences all over the UK with his own style of Circus and Street Magic, including a regular spot at London’s Covent Garden market. His performance today will include escapology and fire eating.

19:00 - Monkey Jam - A four-piece covers band based in Cheltenham playing covers of Beatles, Elvis, Oasis, Creedence, ELO and many, many more. Don’t forget your dancing shoes

Evening food available in the Square from the Cotswold Baguettes gazebo

23:00 - Event closes

Rural Crafts In the Square

Dry stone walling showcase (Competition will start at 12 noon with work completed by 3 pm. Judging and presentation of prizes to take place 3 pm - 3.30 pm approx.) - Cotswold Conservation Board with their showcase dry stone walling competition with two master wall builders. Two past champion wallers will build a 1.5m wall, to be judged by the expert eye of Master Craftsman John Day from the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain. Facing up to each other will be Jeremy Mort, from Natural Boundaries, Evesham, and James Bullock, who runs Cheltenham-based Cotswold Stone Designs.

Thanks go to Smith & Sons (Bletchington) Ltd who have very generously donated the stone from their local quarries for this competition.

Thanks also go to the Cotswold Conservation Board for their help in arranging this competition. If you would like to find out more about the Cotswolds Conservation Board and the many local Rural Craft courses they run then please visit their website.

Sheep - Jonty and Mel Brunyee of Conygree Farm will bring a few of their pedigree Cotswold Lion sheep to the Square in Stow to give a direct link to the history of Stow in centuries past when this iconic breed of sheep was the foundation of the area’s wealth. Come and admire the long golden fleece of these rare-breed sheep and learn more about them. Why are they called ‘Cotswold Lions?’ Conygree Farm is a 180-acre organic farm on the Sherborne Park Estate with Cotswold Lion sheep, traditional Hereford cattle and native breed pigs. Its pasture-fed ethos means the animals enjoy a natural diet with over 80 species of grass, wildflowers and herbs in the Conygree ‘salad bar’ for the animals to eat! The meat they produce is therefore environmentally-friendly as well as animal-friendly. BBC ‘Springwatch’ is being filmed on the Estate, visiting Conygree Farm, with shooting for ‘Autumnwatch’ and ‘Winterwatch’ to follow later in the year. Conygree Farm sell most of their great tasting rare breed lamb, beef and pork direct to customers via their website or box schemes and are supporters of ‘Pasture for Life’.

Birds of prey - Cotswold Falconry Centre – Have you ever held an eagle – or a hawk – or a falcon – or an owl? Then you will know just how thrilling an experience this is! Come and see Geoff Dalton, who is bringing his birds of prey to display for us near the Stocks in Stow Square. It’s a real privilege to be able to get up close to these wonderful birds and Geoff will be happy for you to handle the birds and have your photo taken with them. Geoff opened the Cotswold Falconry Centre at Batsford in 1988 and it now has over 130 birds of 60 different species. The Centre stages daily birds of prey flying displays and also has breeding programmes as well as providing a home to some birds that are critically endangered in the wild.

Cotswold Alpacas - Bridget and James Tibbs-Hamilton have 41 alpacas at Korinn Farm, Cowley, their 12-acre farm situated near Cheltenham and they are expecting more this summer! 7 baby alpaca are due in June with a further 5 in July and they have very kindly agreed to bring a few of their herd to Stow for our Festival on 15th July. These enchanting and exotic animals originate, of course, from South America and there are now an estimated 35,000 alpacas in Britain. So what are these cute and cuddly ‘fashionable lawnmowers’ doing at the Festival? The answer is the theme of ‘wool’. Come and feel the difference between the alpaca fleece, which contains no lanolin, and that of a sheep. Bridget, who has been spinning fleece for 25 years, will demonstrate this skill as well as display and sell many varied items made from her own highly valued alpaca fleeces which provide a wool similar to cashmere. Bridget and James offer a variety of courses at Korinn Farm covering alpaca husbandry, spinning, felting and natural dyeing workshops. Bridget is also part of ”The Wild Woolly Women” group who meet locally every fortnight to share their creative interests and ‘woolly’ skills.

Green wood-worker - All the materials Charles Ash uses are sourced locally from sustainable woodland. All his products are worked green (i.e. straight from the tree) using no power tools – and all are handmade in the truest sense of the term. Charles’ background of theatre set builder at Shakespeare’s Globe and his love of history led him to establish TouchWood Crafts in his rural Oxfordshire home and workshop. His creative skill produces stylish and bespoke furniture, gifts and products for the home using the rich tradition of green woodworking – a skill rarely practised today. He also offers green wood workshops – a great way to spend a day getting back to nature – where you will learn about the history and craft of wood carving and create something special to take home, use and be proud of. Charles will bring his pole lathe (one of the most important tools in sustainable green wood craft), shave horse and chopping block to demonstrate green woodworking for us during the day. He will also bring a selection of beautiful smaller items for sale.

Bees – We are delighted that our local branch of the North Cotswold Beekeepers Association will bring a varied display of items to showcase the various aspects and pleasures of beekeeping. Come and marvel at the fascinating ‘observation hive’ and learn about its intricacies. Try out the specialist equipment and of course enjoy the delicious honey tasting on offer as well as items for sale. Julia Edwards will give you news about the club’s activities, how to join and advice on various aspects of beekeeping. The club can help you get set up and advise on suitable sites to keep your bees, including farmers and landowners who wish to house bees on their land. The club caters for beginners and experts alike and meets monthly in Adlestrop during the winter months.

Wonders of willow – We are very pleased to welcome Helen Munday who will demonstrate the skilful art of willow and basket weaving. She will bring a selection of her beautiful baskets, garden obelisks, bird nesting houses and feeders and many other items for sale - as well as offering a special 'children's workshop' on a donations basis on the day. Helen runs courses locally in Worcestershire and Herefordshire and is a member of The Basketmakers' Association.

Wool, Skills and Crafts in St. Edward’s Hall

Spinning, weaving, felting, knitting, embroidery and crocheting – you name it, we have it!

Local ladies from Stow-on-the-Wold and surrounding villages together with the Northleach Spinners & Weavers Group will be gathered in St. Edward’s Hall during the day giving fascinating demonstrations – and many ‘hands-on’ opportunities – to celebrate the varied skills and crafts all deriving from a fleece. You can follow the progress of our own Cotswold Lion fleece from Conygree Farm with Northleach Spinners and Weavers from shearing, washing, dyeing, carding, spinning, weaving ..... to finished product, showing traditional and modern aspects of the crafts, all with lots of fun along the way. Northleach Spinners & Weavers are a friendly and enthusiastic amateur group of spinners and weavers who meet on the 2nd Friday of every month.

Local resident Lynne Rixon from Stow-on-the-Wold will pass on her experience and demonstrate the beautiful art of needle felting, creating lots of lovely items and gifts.

And do come and join in with the ‘Closely Knit’ group of ladies from Stow who will bring along spare needles and wool to help anyone who’d like to knit with them or learn how to get started. They’ll be giving away simple patterns reflecting their current projects including items for the premature baby unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital at Oxford. ‘Closely Knit’ are a friendly group who ‘knit and chat’ over a piece of cake and a coffee from 10 am to midday every Saturday.

Handweaver and textile designer/maker Rebecca Connolly lives near Cirencester and we're delighted she will be with us demonstrating the special skill of handweaving. She will bring with her a selection of different types of looms and will also be happy for visitors of any age to 'have a go' under her expert supervision. Rebecca runs local weaving classes for the Cotswolds Conservation Board/AONB at The Old Prison at Northleach as well as courses at Prema Arts Centre at Uley and New Brewery Arts in Cirencester. She also designs and weaves to commission; rugs to upholstery to throws. She is passionate about wool, specifically working with the yarns made from British sheep breeds, using natural plant dyes over chemical dyes where practicable and she is fascinated with traditional textile manufacture with a fondness for old wooden floor looms!

We’re also delighted to be creating a unique community ‘crewel work’ embroidery on the day of the Festival depicting our wonderful town of Stow-on-the-Wold. Barbara Banning invites you to add your own stitches to this tableau and sign your name and age in the special accompanying commemorative book. Once complete, the finished embroidery will then be displayed in St. Edward’s Hall.

Where will you find a flock of 150 sheep in Stow? All of the Stow Primary School’s pupils are joining in the fun! Each pupil has been busily decorating their own ceramic sheep money-box in the “Decorate A Sheep” competition and we will have a flock of up to 150 of them on the day of the Festival in the Hall! All enthusiastically decorated by the school’s pupils, the competition has been arranged by the Stow Civic Society and sponsored and judged by Newlands. If you want to decorate one yourself, or give one as a gift, then more sheep will be available on the day for sale at the Festival Stall in the Square.

Also on display in St. Edward’s Hall ……

Cotswold Farm Park owner and BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson will have to find something else to wear on the day of the Festival – because we have his own bespoke woollen suit here on display in the Hall!

If you haven’t already seen it, come and look at the Stow Civic Society’s popular Stow Timeline marking important dates and events throughout the town’s history. Have you got one date to add that we need to include?

A selection of the town’s Civil War armour and artefacts will also be on display on the day in the Hall.

Around the Square

Medieval Trading Standards Officers will visit the Festival at 12:30. In the interests of keeping local residents and visitors healthy we are pleased to announce that the Alcester Court Leet will be attending the Festival to test the quality of local ales, pies, bread and leather on sale.
We do not have an active Court Leet in Stow so the Alcester group have agreed to do a re-enactment of the process for us, aided by of our Lord of the Manor represented by Ben Eddols, the Town Mayor. They will start with a parade through the Square at 12:30 heading towards the Queens Head and their first ale tasting. So all traders beware and everyone else stand by for a serious bit of fun!

Town Crier - We are delighted to extend a warm welcome back to Stow again to Ken Brightwell, our Town Crier, for this year’s Stow Cotswold Festival. He will officially announce and guide us through the many events taking place throughout the day. Look out for him as he walks around Stow – you will certainly hear him coming!

Giant Charity Tombola – Your £5 will be donated to charity and you are guaranteed to be a winner. We have some fabulous prizes so why not give it a go?

Guess the Monkey’s Birthday – Guess the correct birthday (or be the closest) and you will take the monkey home with you. Monkey kindly donated by Ella’s Toy Shop in Digbeth Street.

Treasure Hunt (Sponsored by The Midcounties Co-operative) – Entries available from the Festival stall. A short 30-minute stroll around the town answering questions to eliminate locations to discover where old Ben buried his treasure. All correct answers will go into a prize draw at the prize giving. So why not have a go and see some of Stow.

Festival Stall – All the information about what’s on and any information about Stow. Sale of Treasure Hunt entries and Cotswold Sheep money boxes to paint.

Children’s games – Hosted by members of St Edward’s Primary School parent’s association.

Great Western Air Ambulance – One of our nominated charities this year here with information about their service and items for sale.

Kate’s Home Nursing - One of our nominated charities this year here with information about their service and items for sale.

Hatwell’s Funfair Children’s rides – Two children’s rides will be in the Square just outside Stow Lodge Hotel

Face painting – In the entrance hall to St. Edward’s Hall. Why not get your face painted?

Fun at the Co-Op funeral parlour – Guess the number of balloons in the car, pick a bottle and refreshments.

Queen’s Head – Relax with an alfresco drink in the specially created front garden.

The Talbot – Why not have a spot of lunch, or a drink served through the window?

St. Edward’s Church – The church tower will be open from noon for visitors to climb the stairs and get a bird’s eye view of Stow and the Festival.

Cotswold Market

Stalls booked so far:

Music at Stow – A chance to see what live music is available in the town this year and buy some tickets.

National Trust - Information & discounted membership

Betty Stocker - Cotswold photography

Send her Victorious

Hay Wines - Unusual liqueurs

Rock and Rose - Baby, kids and adult clothing

Zink clinic - Chiropractic & therapy clinic

Dotty Dollies - Ladies fashion accessories

Firedrake Jewellery - Handcrafted precious metal jewellery & gifts

Heather's First Editions - Covered books, dolls house miniatures etc

Sue Ryder - Jams, bric a brac and information

Door 2 Door Pet supplies - Natural pet treats, toys, accessories

Bee Happy Glass designs - Fused glass

The Very Reluctant Bookworm - Clocks & watches

Penny TurnerPoetry and art

Coastal CreativityJewellery from gemstones, pebbles, seashells and sea glass

Cotswold Baguettes - Filled Baguettes. Cakes & Savouries

White HartBurgers & Sausages

Huntington Bourne Bakery - Cakes & slices with S American influence

Fair & Square Brownies - Range of chocolate brownies

OxfordChelt Wine School - Running bespoke informal wine tasting events

Stow Library - Our very own library with visitor information and some interesting Cotswold souvenirs

Great Western Air Ambulance - one of our charities being supported today

India Inc - cotton fashions

Pure Silver Design - lovely handcrafted silver jewellery from around the world

English Rose - Handmade sewn items

Red Zebra - Handbags, scarves & Italian clothes

Working4wildlife - Supporting wildlife and environmental charities

Gloucestershire Healthy Lifestyles - A county council initiative to promote healthy living

Cotswold Distillery - Gin bar and product sales

Mollie Loves Vintage - Vintage style to make your house a home!

Gloucestershire Wildlife - The Trust works to lead society in achieving an environment rich in wildlife for everyone.

Pickle Millie - Beautiful handmade bespoke children's clothing

Gravity Outlaws - Provider of interesting shiny stuff, just for you!

Festival programme

2017 programme for Stow Cotswold Festival

A big thank you to Clarendon Fine Art in Stow for kindly printing 5,000 Festival programmes. This leaflet will be hand delivered around homes in Stow during June and handed out at Tesco in Stow on a couple of days nearer the time. It will also be given out to visitors on the day at entry points to the Square.