First-time festival at Church Stretton is a big hit

Church Stretton came alive to the sounds of music, many and varied, last weekend in the first StrettFest community event.

The Kate Buttoloh Choir at StrettFest. Pic:
The Kate Buttoloh Choir at StrettFest. Pic:

This was an opportunity to showcase the performing talents of residents, young and old, in the Market Square. These ranged from the music ensembles and drama pieces from Church Stretton School to bands, choirs and dance groups of all ages.

However, none could match the high-energy performance of the Shropshire Bedlams and Martha Rhoden’s Tuppenny Dish on their annual visit to the town.

It was very much a family event with opportunities for youngsters and adults to tap into their artistic talents in making collages or felted bees.

The more boisterous could have a go at Taiko drumming. Alternatively, they could browse the trader stalls in the High Street, get to know better the range of local independent shops and the ever-increasing variety of eating and drinking experiences, where additional musical entertainments were laid on.


On the Friday evening, many were interested to learn about the tie-up between local poet, Jean Atkins and the Whalebone folk group and, later, wildlife photographer, Ben Osborne, gave an illustrated account of his expeditions with Sir David Attenborough.

On Saturday evening, a performance of swing music by the Craven Arms Big Band persuaded some to use the last of their energy on the dance floor.

StrettFest concluded on Sunday lunch-time with an opportunity to wind down with an open-air jam session in the Market Square, courtesy of Saxophone Sundae.

Malcolm Nicholls, proprietor of Housman’s Restaurant and Stretton Ale House said: “We thought the first StrettFest was a great success. It was good to see so many local groups using the Market Square as a focal point for the event.”

"We were delighted we had a constant stream of children to the ‘make and take’ workshop. Refreshments and cake decorating made sure we had all the ingredients for a great day," added Lesley McKnight of Scrappies.

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