As is the tradition, Romsey Festival came to an end at choral evensong on Sunday July 16 when the Romsey Abbey team handed back the festival flag for safekeeping.
The 13th Romsey Festival, from 1st-16th July, had more than 250 separate events at numerous venues across the town and adjoining district.
The introduction of extra lunchtime recitals at Romsey Abbey, United Reformed Church and St Denys Chilworth were well received by enthusiastic audiences.
The FlackFest at festival sponsor Flack Manor Brewery alternated between rock and acoustic, a mix much-appreciated by the audience who could guarantee this was one music festival that would not run out of beer.
Michelmersh Silver Band had a busy Saturday (July 8) with two ensembles playing sets at the Beggars Fair before the band came together in the evening with the Spitfire Sisters for a programme focused on the music of the ‘30s and ‘40s.
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens was the base for the Romsey Festival Gala Concert with Southampton Concert Orchestra under conductor Paul Ingram. A change to damp weather did not deter the outdoor audience. The crowd enjoyed a varied programme with pieces including Night on Bald Mountain, An American in Paris, Pirates of the Caribbean and Dambusters.
A series of trails in churchyards and around Romsey town centre kept families busy.
Romsey Local History Society led tours of the historic town centre.
King John’s House had a sculpture trail in the garden and provided a series of talks.
Liz Wagner, Romsey Festival chairman, said: “I am delighted with the brilliant community support for the Romsey Festival as this has shown a real appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the event organisers and participants, many of whom are volunteers. The vast range of festival events, something for all ages, has celebrated the wonderful range of talent and skills within our local community and has entertained, informed and enlightened those attending. A great festival and thanks must go to all participating and all attending.”
The congregation arriving at Romsey Abbey for evensong on July 16 was greeted by a quarter peel ring out from the abbey bell tower in celebration of the festival.
Festival patron Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Mayor of Test Valley Philip Lashbrook, mayoress Cllr Linda Lashbrook, Romsey mayor John Ray, Romsey Festival committee members and participants joined the regular congregation in a reflection of the success.
To view photos from the festival and for more information, visit romseyfestival.org/.
Article first published in The Romsey Advertiser