The Wellington Summer Programme has arrived…
It’s here – Wellington H2A’s annual labour of love to assemble a list of the best events planned for the town between May and September. Printed copies will start appearing around Wellington and surrounding areas in the next ten days, but you can get ahead of the game by clicking on the picture and downloading a copy here:
Markets, fairs and festivals
I’ve felt for a while that this should be an area where Wellington puts more effort – building a reputation as a town of markets, fairs and festivals. The well-known regular Wellington Market gives us a good foundation for that, and increasingly we see fairs and festivals of various kinds on the calendar. Seasonal specials this summer will include traditional fetes at the National Trust’s Sunnycroft, at the old Cottage Hospital, and at Wrockwardine Church – with more cakes and tombola prizes than you can shake a rustic-looking stick at. In addition, and new this year, is a visiting European Market arriving on 23rd May. This is a one-off, but more one-offs like that would start to get people interested, so well done to the town council for sorting it out and moving in the right direction.
H2A’s own big project, the Midsummer Fayre, will take place on 14th June with the usual range of about 40 artisan and community stalls, along with live music and other entertainments throughout the day. Similar in scale, the Wellington Town Carnival and Lions Day on Wheels are also on the list.
Wellington’s main festival of the year – the Literary Festival – doesn’t kick off until October so doesn’t get a mention in our Summer Programme, but there’s another fantastic town festival that does – and which again plays to another strength: the countryside on our doorstep. Now in its third year, the Wellington Walking Festival has grown to include over 20 events, led by an army of volunteer walking guides, and will see scores of people setting off on treks around the local landscape from a Wellington base.
Eyes and ears
Wellington Methodist Church will be hosting an art exhibition in July, and local artists are invited to submit work. This listing is an isolated outing for the visual arts, which is a shame, particularly bearing in mind the number of artists and photographers living locally. The music on offer in this year’s programme is more plentiful, and mostly familiar – Michael Davey’s now well-established organ concert season returns, with four performances from local organists and guest performers, and Sounds in The Square brings jazz, soul and all sorts of acoustic rock & pop to Market Square on four separate dates (potentially five – we’ve an act still to confirm). Hadley Orpheus Male Voice Choir will perform not once but twice in the town, and through events like the Midsummer Fayre and Wrockwardine Ceilidh we’ll be adding brass, harpists, choirs and folk bands into the mix.
In a precursor to the Literary Festival in October, Wellington Library will be hosting a set of two sessions with novelists at a ‘meet the authors’ day in July. Either side of that,the Wellington History Group will be delivering its usual suite of talks between May and September, this year covering the themes of policing, pubs and football. And finally, there’s more local history to be unearthed in September with the Arleston Memories Group, who will be commemorating the start of the First World War with an open invitation to people with stories or artefacts about the conflict to come along and share those with neighbours.
Meanwhile up on the stage, the Belfrey Theatre, hot on the heels of their ‘Allo ‘Allo farce, will be marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth with three performances of The Tempest.
Lastly are all those other events – the Bayley Mile Road Race this week, the invitation to tour an amazing private garden at nearby Little Wenlock; Heritage Open Day where you can potter around at Sunnycroft for free; and most exciting of all, the attempt to break no less than four world records at Hands Around The Wrekin in September.
Events help to make our town a great place to be – there’s always room for more, but the list we turn out each year would be the envy of some places. So, get along to what you can and enjoy your Wellington summer.