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

1. Fairford Festival celebrates 30 years with fun events 

Fairford Festival is taking place over the weekend of June 7-9. There will be an assortment of food stalls and a licenced bar all over the Festival weekend taking place in the grounds of Fairford Cricket Club GL7 4JJ. To find out more, visit www.fairfordfestival.org.uk.

On Thursday June 6 at 7pm is a Wine & Cheese Evening with regional French wines and cheeses reflecting the Paris Olympics theme for the 2024 Fairford Festival. Tickets £15 per person available through Eventbrite: Fairford Festival Wine & Cheese. This will be followed by an Open-Air Cinema evening showing the film ‘Chocolat’ in honour of Fairford Book Fest’s guest author, Joanne Harris OBE. Film starts at 8pm and is free to attend. The Fairford British-American Committee will be providing a free hot dog stall.

It's all about music on Friday June 7. A junior disco from 7pm-8pm and then live music with the Shadow Monkeys from 9pm-11pm.

Two full days of Festival entertainment on Saturday and Sunday June 8 and 9. Starting at 11am on Saturday with the Festival Parade, followed by five hours of Paris Olympics-themed entertainment in the Children’s tent from 12 noon. At 12.30pm, there’s a performance by the Britannia Majorettes and then, at 1pm, the Farrell School of Irish Dance. In the Literary Marquee at 4pm is award-winning author, Joanne Harris OBE. Opportunity to buy an advance copy her latest novel, ‘Moonlight Market’, which is not released to the public till July. Not scheduled to be in the shops until July. Tickets cost £10 from either 7a Coffee Shop or Eventbrite: Joanne Harris at Fairford Festival. At 3pm, the live music starts and goes on until 11pm. Then the Silent Disco takes over until 1am (£10 entry, £5 returned with headsets).

On Sunday June 9, the 3k Fun Run starts at 9.45am in Park Street and the 10k Road Race starts at 10.30am. The Festival Afternoon Fete is from 12 noon-4pm with a mix of stalls. The Children’s tent is open from 12 noon-4pm with more Paris Olympics-themed activities. Live music from 12.30pm-4.30pm in the main marquee. Fairford Festival Dog Show at 12.30pm with five classes to enter. The grand raffle draw in the main marquee at 3pm and, finally, test your knowledge in the Fairford Quiz at 5pm.

New for this year is the Fairford Book Fest Car BOOK Sale with new and self-published authors taking a stall from 10am-1pm in the Literary Marquee to sign and sell their books. Great opportunity to come and chat to some up-and-coming authors. Leonie Gregson, the winner of The People’s Friend £10k Writing Bursary for 2024, will be on hand to discuss her writing, winning the competition and also chat to the authors and the book-loving public. Free entry.

There are three extra events over the Festival weekend: • Fairford History Society (FHS) exhibition and photographic display by Edwin Cuss will have a tribute to those brave men who took part in D-Day. In keeping with the theme of the Paris Olympics, the FHS display will also include sport in Fairford. Taking place on Saturday and Sunday June 8 and 9 from 10am-4pm in the Heritage Room of Fairford Community Centre. Free entry.

• The Fairford Art Society’s annual art exhibition on Saturday from 10am-5pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm in the Farmor Room of Fairford Community Centre. Free entry.

• Fairford Festival Tea Party with finger sandwiches, cakes and scones, accompanied by a selection of drinks on Sunday June 9 at 4pm. This is a free event for over 70’s, spaces are limited, booking is essential.

To book, email admin@friendsoffairford.org.uk.

2. Fairford Book Festival in two parts 

FAIRFORD BOOK FEST IN TWO PARTS Fairford Festival Book Fest kicks off at 4pm on Saturday June 8 in the Literary Marquee in the grounds of Fairford Cricket Club GL7 4JJ.

Award-winning author, Joanne Harris OBE will be the guest author being interviewed and chatting about her writing, her books and her famous novel, Chocolat – the film of which will be the film shown at the Open-Air Cinema on Thursday June 6 at 8pm.

Some of her books will be available to have signed and to buy including Chocolat, copies of which are normally difficult to get hold of. Joanne’s latest novel, The Moonlight Market, is not due for release until July, but Fairford Festival Book Fest has managed to get advance copies of the book for Joanne to sign and sell.

On Sunday June 9, the Book Fest continues with a Car BOOK Sale – like a car boot sale, but with no car boots! Over 15 authors – many of them local – will be in the Literary Marquee from 10am-1pm taking a table from which to sign and sell their books. They will also be happy to chat to book lovers and future writers about their writing history.

Also on hand at the Car BOOK Sale will be Leonie Gregson, who is The People’s Friend £10k Writing Bursary winner. Leonie will be chatting to the authors and book lovers alike.

3. Big changes coming play area 

Big changes are coming to Fairford’s Walnut Tree Field!

The Toddler play area is being completely replaced with an exciting new selection of play equipment. Fairford Town Council consulted with Fairford Pre-School and Flying Start Nursery to choose the design they liked the best from a selection of three.

Fairford Town Council has been fortunate to receive grants to help fund this project from Enovert, Flying Start Nursery, Gloucestershire Playing Fields Association and LR Engineering. Greenfields will work on the installation of the equipment and it is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of July.

4. Covid drop in vaccination clinic 

A Covid-19 Spring Drop-in Vaccination Clinic for those over 75 years of age and also those who are eligible will take place on Wednesday June 12 from 10am-12 noon or until the supply is used. No appointment needed, just call into Fairford Community Centre, High Street, Fairford GL7 4AE.

Plus there will be a Health Promotion: As well as receiving a Covid vaccination, you can receive healthcare advice and signposting to free local services. For additional Drop-in Clinics, visit www.nhsglos.nhs.uk/your-health-services/community-and-hospital-care/vaccination/ The Palmer Hall community film in June will be Bob Marley, One Love: Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley overcomes adversity to become the most famous reggae musician in the world. Showing on Wednesday June 12 with doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Admission £3.50 to include tea and biscuits. Glass of wine £3.00. Visit www.thepalmerhall.org.

5. Classic to be performed this weekend 

A Samuel Beckett classic ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ will be performed on Friday and Saturday June 7 and Sunday, June 8 in The Creel Bar of The Trout, Lechlade. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start. Renowned for its profound exploration of memory, identity and the passage of time, this play promises to be a captivating and though-provoking experience.

Moving, funny, insightful, this 40 minute show is a performance that will stay in the memory for a long time. Tickets cost £5 and are available from The Trout on 01367 252313 or online at www.ticketsouce.co.uk/TTC.

6. Wonderful events taking place in the area 

As part of the National Garden Scheme, there will be an Open Garden at Oxleaze Farm, Lechlade GL7 3RB on Sunday June 9 from 11am-5pm. Oxleaze Farm is on the road between Eastleach and Filkins. £7 adults, children free, dogs on leads welcome.

Delicious food, lunches and teas. Plants for sale. The National Garden Scheme supports nursing and mental health charities. For more information, contact 07786 918502 or visit www.oxleaze.co.uk.

No speakers are planned for the June and July meetings of Lechlade Gardening Club. Instead, there will be a series of interesting visits. The visit on Wednesday June 12 will be a local visit to Chestlion House, Clanfield from 6pm-8pm.

For more details, please contact 01367 253309 or 01367 252286 or Audrey Barnes on 01367 252242.

There will be a Coffee Morning on Saturday June 8 from 10.30am-11.45am in Quenington Village Hall. Raffle, cakes.

The Probus Club of Lechlade and District is open to all males up to any age. Meeting in Lechlade Memorial Hall on the first and third Fridays of every month (except public holidays) at 10am for 10.30am.

Talks last up to an hour and the meeting is followed by a few drinks at the bar run by our own members. The next meeting is on Friday June 7 and the talk is ‘Fun facts about the brain that you didn’t know you needed to know’ by Dr Katy Bellamy.