WEEKLY COLUMN of Fairford and Lechlade news by Chris Roberts MBE. 

1. New music festival for the Cotswolds 

A new music festival is coming to the Cotswolds taking place over the weekend of July 26-28 on a 200-acre site at South Cerney Airfield GL7 5RD.

Festival organiser, Oakley Hayward believes this is something that people have been waiting for. “Cotswold Fest can be the Cotswolds’ very own Glastonbury,” explained Oakley. “It will be a family-friendly festival with music and activities for all age groups to enjoy.”

As a Fairford businessman himself, Oakley is keen to support local. He said: “Cotswold Fest will be using local businesses, local bands and bands from further afield, local food and drink and promises to be a great place to promote your business and showcase your products and services.

“We are starting small this year with just one stage, but hope to get bigger and better every year,” continued Oakley.

“As well as local bands, we have some bands from further afield that you probably won’t have seen before locally.

Bands confirmed so far are The Faux Fighters, Jimmy Moore, Mirrored Faces, Joli and the Souls and Stephens DJ for Friday; Rock the 90s, Westrop School Choir, Mark Mulhern & Junkyard Troubadours, Shades of Silver, Busy Fools, Chasing Kites, Mellowmatic and DJ Mike Case for Saturday with Noasis, Lord Irving, Pink Mac and DJ Dex for Sunday.

Carmen Finn, one of the organisers helping Oakley said: “To organize and fund an event like Cotswold Fest has been a dream of Oakley’s for a while now. I am so excited to be involved with this new music festival, as I’ve had some experience helping to organize festivals in the past. I truly believe that Cotswold Fest has the potential to become a regular event and a family favourite for future summers.”

Cotswold Fest is the laid-back weekend of family fun in beautiful countryside with camping available and transport to and from the festival. For more information, visit www.cotswoldfest.co.uk.

2. Latest on Fairford Steam Show 

Fairford’s Steam Show is on track to be even bigger and better than last year and will take place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday August 17 and 18 at Lake Field, Fairford GL7 4BT or What3Words: purely.alongside.parkway.

Don’t forget the Steam in the Square on Friday night August 16 when steam engines – all shapes and sizes – will be parked in Fairford Market Place.

The organising Steam Team have received many more bookings for the Show weekend this year and have a fantastic line-up across all sections including full size steam exhibits, miniature steam engines, stationary engines, tractors, military vehicles, motorbikes, cars, commercials (from modern to classic/vintage), two classic fairground organs, fairground rides, trade stands, craft tables, food stands, a beer tent run by Fairford Cricket Club and live music on Saturday night. New for 2024 will be the Ken Fox Wall of Death, Jacko & Nunkie children’s entertainer and a dedicated Lego space for children to enjoy called The Brick.

There will be a free hourly bus service from Fairford (various pick-ups) to the Show, which will reduce the numbers of cars arriving. For more information or to book Early Bird tickets, visit: https://fairfordsteamshow.co.uk.

The Steam Team would like to thank all Fairford Steam Show’s sponsors. However, costs keep on rising, so if you would like to donate to the Show or offer sponsorship, please get in touch.

3. Service to celebrate new lay worship leader

St Mary’s very own Lucy Hodson has been training hard over the last few weeks to gain the skills of a lay worship leader and, on Saturday May 4, she will be being commissioned into that role.

It would be lovely to see some support from the St Mary’s community at her commissioning service starting at 2pm at Holy Trinity, Watermoor, Cirencester. Look out for her leading and preaching in the near future!

4. Prayer and Praise on first Sunday of the month 

Prayer and Praise is a contemporary-style service at St Mary’s Church on the first Sunday of each month.

The next service is on Sunday May 5 from 6pm-7pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to invite family, friends and neighbours to church, especially those who have never been to church, those who haven’t been for years or those who have never found a church that feels ‘just right’ for them. For more information, contact carolinesymcox@googlemail.com or pa.wilkins@hotmail.co.uk.

5. Cinema to show story of British teenager 

The Palmer Hall Cinema is usually held on the second Wednesday of each month. The next film being shown on Wednesday May 8 is ‘Gran Turismo’.

It tells the true story of British teenager, Jann Mardenborough, a teenage Gran Turismo player, who became a professional racing car driver. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Entry is £3.50 to include a free tea/coffee and a biscuit or £3 for a glass of wine. For more information about The Palmer Hall, visit www.thepalmerhall.org.

6. Event to support Project Inspire 

The next event to support Lechlade’s Project Inspire is a Summer Ceilidh on Thursday May 2 at 7.45pm for an 8pm start in Lechlade Memorial Hall.

With dancing till 9.30pm to a band of local musicians led by Jay Matthews. Bring your own food and drink. Tickets cost £10, children free, available from the Health Box and online at https://bit.ly/StLCeilidh. All proceeds will go towards Project Inspire which is restoring and re-ordering the church for future generations.

7. 10th annual vintage rally and country show 

The 10th Lechlade Annual Vintage Rally & Country Show is on from Saturday May 4 till Monday May 6 at Langley Farm, Langley Lane, Clanfield, Oxfordshire OX18 2RZ. Opens at 10am.

Classic cars, Commercial vehicles, Miniature steam, Motorbikes, Tractors, Collections, Model tent, Classic caravans, Craft, Fun Fair, Raffle, Trade stands and refreshments, Britannia Majorettes, Food Fairies for Street Dogs & Cats, Highworth Silver Band. For more information, contact 01993 843221.

8. Meeting details for several groups in area 

The next meeting of the Lechlade WI will be ‘Hilarious Hats’ on Tuesday May 7 at 7pm in Lechlade Memorial Hall.

The Tuesday Club AGM is on Tuesday May 7 at 2pm in Lechlade Memorial Hall. The Club is held every Tuesday in school term time at the Memorial Hall from 10.30am until 3pm.

Its aim is to provide a happy and relaxing day for anyone in the community who is feeling in need of some company. Transport is available within Lechlade. If you or someone you know might be interested in coming to the Tuesday Club or you require more information, please contact Hazel on 01367 252265.

If anyone has some free time on a Tuesday and would like to volunteer, there is always an opening. Please phone Jane on 07850 002521 for more information about the different roles.

9. Two talks taking place this week 

On Wednesday May 8, there will be a talk on the ‘NGS Open Gardens of Oxfordshire’. Be giving a talk called ‘Excellent Plants – new varieties and old favourites’. Meetings are usually held on the second Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm in Lechlade Memorial Hall. Membership is £5 per person per annum, then £2 to attend each or £3 for visitors.

The Arts Society Upper Thames is pleased to invite you to a talk on Thursday May 9 about ‘Gold of the Gods: Treasures of South America and the Search for El Dorado’ with Chloe Sayer. The talk starts at 2pm in Lechlade Memorial Hall, but please arrive by 1.50pm. Please pre-book by email at info@tasupperthames.org.uk and pay £7.50 on the door.