ROMSEY FESTIVAL GRAND FINALE
Romsey Festival finishes this weekend after a very successful fortnight of events.
The Abbey was packed to the rafters last Friday for a Schools Concert organised by Roger Kitsell. A number of local schools took part and a significant sum was raised for Jane Scarth House.
Another highlight was a busy La Ronde on Sunday, with many of the gardens packed for much of the day.
In association with this, Romsey Signal Box was opened as a special event, and despite the challenges faced by visitors to reach the signal box through its temporary access, a record number of visitors (126) called in during the day, overwhelming the volunteers on duty.
Festival Chairman Dick Hewett said: “There have been so many successful events and positive comments about the Festival. I’m delighted it has gone so well, and I’m looking forward to the final events this coming weekend.”
These events include concerts in the Abbey by the Romsey Male Voice Choir tonight (Friday 18th) and Winchester Consort on Saturday 19th. The latter will be performing “Song of Songs” by Patrick Hawes, with the composer himself on the conductor’s podium.
Meanwhile elsewhere on those evenings, the Romsey & Salisbury Rock Choir will provide entertainment at the Lantern tonight (Friday), and the Romsey Ladies Choir in All Saints Church, North Baddesley tomorrow (Saturday) evening.
At 3pm on the final Sunday afternoon of the Festival (20th) the Abbey hosts an organ recital with two ex-Abbey choristers who have gone on to greater things elsewhere. Thomas Leech and David Hewett will share a recital which will include at least one duet. The Walker organ will be put through its paces by these two talented young organists.
Arts and Crafts continue through to the very end, with Romsey Art Group’s exhibition in the Abbey URC Church Hall until Sunday, and an exhibition of David Thelwell’s paintings and drawings in the church itself over the weekend.
For two days (today and tomorrow), in the church in Chilworth, there will be an exhibition about the village and several of its key characters, including Richard Cockle Lucas and the Fleming family.
Refreshments will be available on Sunday in Rum’s Eg (with gourmet brunches) and the Abbey Church Rooms (afternoon teas).
After a special quarter peal has been rung on the Abbey bells, the Festival will close on Sunday evening with a special service in the Abbey URC church at 6.30pm, when the Festival flag will be returned to the Festival Chairman for safe keeping for the next 3 years until the Festival returns in 2017.
The last weekend of the Festival promises to be a fitting climax to what has been a hugely successful and enjoyable two weeks. More details can be found on www.romseyfestival.org, and tickets for selected events can be purchased through the website or through Romsey TIC, 01794 512987.