I just love those summer holidays. Six weeks of parks, picnics and family fun time. Even better – six weeks of not having to be out of the house dressed, fed and almost clean by a quarter past eight for the school and nursery run every morning! There’s nothing quite like a pyjama morning. And the good news is that if/when we do make it out of the house, there are loads of great things going on over the next few weeks. Here are some of the highlights – have a lovely month!
It’s surely not summer without a good fete or two? On Saturday, 4th July, Paternoster House on Watermoor Road, Cirencester, will hold its summer fete. The event will include a raffle, tombola, craft stalls, and live music from the Ukey Dukes. It runs 2–4.30pm and entry is free.
The Friends of Watermoor School invite you to their summer fair. It will take place at Watermoor Primary School on Kingshill Lane on Saturday, 11th July, 1pm until 4pm. Attractions will include games, stalls, tombola, bouncy castles, archery practice, skateboard demo, barbecue, cake stall, face painting and there will be a fire engine and police car in attendance. Entry will cost 50p for adults and children aged five and over.
I’m sure you need no reminding that the Cotswold Show and Food Festival will be taking place on Saturday 4th and Sunday, 5th July. The event in the grounds of Cirencester Park once again promises plenty of fun for all ages with a wide range of events planned from arena attractions to traditional rural skills and countryside pursuits to cookery demonstrations, children’s entertainment and much more. For the line-up or to book see www.cotswoldshow.co.uk or call 01285 652007.
On the subject of fantastic events right on the doorstep, the Royal International Air Tattoo – billed as the world’s greatest airshow – takes place at RAF Fairford from Friday 17th to Sunday, 19th July. As well as plenty of flying action with fast jets, giant transporters and historic aircraft all taking part, visitors can also meet the crews, get close to the aircraft and enjoy a feast of first class entertainment on the showground. For full details see www.airtattoo.com
And continuing the theme of spectacular events – it’s time again for Blenheim Palace’s annual Battle Proms Picnic Concert. The concert on Saturday, 11th July features music, fireworks, Spitfire, cannons and cavalry. For further details see www.blenheimpalace.com
The Cotswold Arcadians are staging an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s Richard III in the grounds of Hatherop Castle School. There will be performances from Monday 20th to Saturday, 25th July starting at 8pm, with the gardens open from 6pm for picnics. To find out more, or book, see www.arcadians.org or call 01285 898019.
Enjoy an evening of swing music in a riverside setting – and all for a good cause. The annual Big Swing Band Picnic takes place on Saturday, 11th July on the banks of the River Coln at the Mill House in Coln St Aldwyns (by courtesy of Earl St Aldwyn) with music provided by the Glosjazz Swing Band. The gates will open at 5.30pm for pre-concert picnics, hopefully in glorious sunshine, and the music will start at 6.30pm. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Fairford Hospital. Entry, payable at the gate, will be £10 for adults and £5 for children under 14. For further information contact David Trudgill on 01285 750494.
Entries are now open for an awards scheme set up to recognise the contribution made by Gloucestershire businesses and their staff to local charities. The Local Business Charity Awards, sponsored by Jelf Insurance Brokers & Harrison Clark Rickerbys, are being run for a second year, after a highly successful launch in 2014. This year there are three categories – the corporate award, team award and individual award - and nominations are welcome from charities nominating their corporate supporters and staff or from the businesses themselves. The deadline for entries is Friday, 31st July. For full details see www.localbusinesscharityawards.co.uk
A whole host of events are being staged as part of the Corinium Museum’s Festival of Archaeology. The festival will see talks, films and workshops culminating in a special Archaeology Day on Saturday, 25th July when a Cotswold Archaeology team will be bringing the past to life at an open day at the museum. Visitors can have a look at recently unearthed finds and get help identifying any finds they’ve discovered themselves. Children will be able to get hands-on by taking part in a dig in a pit. There will also be talks by archaeologists in the museum galleries. Events will run from 10am until 3pm. Other festival highlights include a special screening of the classic Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark on Saturday, 11th July at 2.15pm, an archaeological illustration adult workshop with Lorna Gray on Thursday, 16th July from 10am until 3pm and an afternoon talk with Dr Alison Brookes called Recent Excavations Revealed on Thursday, 16th July from 2.30pm until 4pm. For full details of the festival see www.coriniummuseum.org
Cirencester’s Children’s Literary Festival returns for the third time from Monday, 27th July to Saturday, 1st August, as you can see, left! Funded by the Bingham Library Trust and organised by Gloucestershire Library Service and Octavia’s Bookshop, the festival will be opened by zoologist and award-winning author Nicola Davies. For full details see www.facebook.com/CirencesterLitFest
Now it’s not really my thing but I’m reliably informed (by my sports-mad husband) that the Cheltenham Cricket Festival is well worth a mention! The world’s longest running cricket festival returns to the Cheltenham College ground in Thirlestaine Road from Wednesday 8th to Saturday, 18th July. And last year’s event saw more than 22,000 people attend over the two weeks so maybe, for once, my husband might be right. For full details see www.gloscricket.co.uk
The Stroud Vintage Transport and Engine Club will stage their 41st annual show at South Cerney Airfield on the last weekend of the month. Attractions will include a steam arena, with non-stop steam action, and main arena with displays and commentary on the vintage and classic cars, tractors, commercial vehicles, vintage bus and coaches, motorcycles, miniature steam, industrial trucks and emergency vehicles. There will also be model aircraft displays, two countryside arenas, a trade stand area, craft marquee, and a working stationary engine display. There will also be a food court with licensed bars, and a vintage fairground. The show will be open from 10am until 5pm on Friday, 31st July and Saturday 1st and Sunday, 2nd August. To find out more or for ticket information see www.glosvintageextravaganza.co.uk
Or if you fancy an event that promises a celebration of culture and music, the Cornbury Music Festival will be right up your street. As well as an eclectic mix of music across four stages, there is also comedy, children’s activities, gourmet festival caterers, an extensive range of arts and crafts stalls, a fairground and a therapy and massage zone, plus a fabulous Disco Shed. The festival runs from Friday 10th to Sunday, 12th July in the grounds of Great Tew Park in West Oxfordshire. For the full line-up and tickets see www.cornburyfestival.com
Staying with music, and you can enjoy live music in Cirencester’s Abbey Park every Sunday afternoon with the Bands in the Park summer programme now in full swing. This month will see performances from Cricklade Band on 5th July, Chippenham Band on 12th July, JJ Swing Band on 19th July and Klezmerpolitan on 26th July. All performances will take place in the Abbey Grounds Bandstand from 2.30pm until 4.30pm - although all are weather dependent. Here’s hoping for a lovely, dry month!
Talented classical guitarists will be giving a tea-time recital on Saturday, 18th July. The Corinium Players Guitar Ensemble will give the concert at The Ashcroft Centre at 3pm. Tickets cost £5, which includes a cream tea.
Cirencester Dance Club will be performing an Alice in Wonderland show on Friday 17th and Saturday, 18th July at Bingham Hall. Tickets will be available from Cirencester Visitor Information Centre in the Corinium Museum.
In Fairford you can give badminton a go, with Fairford Badminton Club offering two free sessions for newcomers. The club meets on a Monday evening from 8pm at Cotswold Leisure Centre and rackets can be borrowed. To find out more call the leisure centre on 01285 713786 or turn up on the night.
Back to Cirencester, and Understanding Abstract Art is the title of an illustrated lecture being given by Lynne Gibson at the Corinium Decorative and Fine Arts Society’s meeting on Wednesday, 22nd July. The meeting takes place at Deer Park School, Stroud Road and starts at 7.30pm. Visitors are welcome, and it will cost them £5 to attend.
A week of events are being staged at the end of the month to help Cirencester celebrate Love Parks Week. Events include Chesterton’s annual summer fete in Thistle Park from 1pm until 5pm, and a fun dog show at Abbey Grounds from 1.30pm, both on Saturday, 25th July. Over at St Michael’s Park the following day, Sunday, 26th July, there will be a teddy bear’s picnic, from midday until 3pm. There will also be croquet taster sessions run by Cirencester Croquet Club in St Michael’s Park from 2pm until 4pm on Monday 27th and Wednesday, 29th July, and a skateboarding session with the Decimal Team at Cirencester’s Skatepark from 1pm until 2pm on Tuesday, 28th July. At Abbey Grounds there will be pond-dipping from 10.30am until midday, and a world jungle circus skills workshop from 2pm until 4pm on Wednesday, 29th July. There will be a rugby taster session run by Cirencester Rugby Club on Friday, 31st July from 10am until midday and on Saturday, 1st August you can join a wildlife walk along the Churn Walkway, starting at 10am. Also on Saturday, 1st August, there will be a family day running at St Michael’s Park from 10am until 5.30pm when all facilities in the park will be free. For full details of all these events see www.cirencester.gov.uk
Now the idea of an evening sampling beer and cider at Cogges Manor Farm sounds pretty appealing. The beer and cider festival on Friday, 31st July and Saturday, 1st August will showcase more than 30 speciality beers and ciders from a range of local breweries. There will also be a summer bar with wine, Pimm’s and lemonade, and food stalls as well as live music co-hosted by Witney’s Glovebox and Rapture. The event for over-18s runs from 6.30pm until 11pm and will be raising funds for Cogges Heritage Trust. Tickets cost £8 in advance or £10 on the door, and include a half pint of beer or cider. They are available from Cogges or Rapture, or online at www.cogges.org.uk
If you’ve had your fill of current day politics recently, maybe those of medieval Britain will make a pleasant change. Gloucestershire’s acclaimed Festival Players will be performing a spirited adaptation taken from Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 at Cogges Manor Farm on Wednesday, 15th July. The historical drama brings to life the humanity, the politics, the battles, and the humour of this period in a colourful two-hour production, performed by an all-male company. Doors open from 6pm and the performance starts at 7pm. Tickets are £12.50 for adults and £8.50 for under-16s and are available from Cogges or online at www.cogges.org.uk
Take a look round Bridewell Organic Gardens on Sunday, 19th July. The walled garden and vineyard at Wilcote will be open to the public from 2pm until 5pm. Plants and refreshments as well as Bridewell organic wine and produce will be on sale. Admission will be £3 and free for children. To find out more call 01993 868313 or see www.bridewellorganicgardens.co.uk
Keep an eye out for stag beetles! People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), which is working to halt the decline of the insect, is appealing for people to take part in its annual Great Stag Hunt Survey. The species, which has suffered due to habitat loss. Visit www.ptes.org where there is also advice on how to create a stag beetle-friendly garden.
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