It’s June and Twickenham Festival is back! Long gone are the days when we’d do comprehensive listings of every fair, fete, and effing alliterative fun day on this site. It’s just too time consuming and your subscription fees just don’t cover it anymore. But, because you’re nice and we wouldn’t want you to miss out, we’ve dropped a few pointers to selected highlights below.
The ‘official’ start of #Twickfest is Friday 10th June with the traditional tug of war competition. It begins outside the Eel Pie pub at 6pm. Expecting lots of heaving, grunting, groaning, sweaty faces and blistered hands. If that conjures a rather troubling image then fear not, it’s actually an entertaining event.
If you’re after something a little more culturally highbrow then that same weekend sees the Conchord Festival of chamber music take place at St Mary’s Church. Not too far away, All Hallows Church is also running its own music festival across the weekend.
On Saturday 11th, Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler returns to the Diamond Jubilee Gardens for three ‘story and drawing sessions’ but make sure you book tickets. Also on that Saturday there is a craft market in Church Street.
Sunday 12th is all about the Queen. Her Maj is 90 (ninety!) this year and Twickenham Festival has decided to show some right royal respect with “Totally Church Street’s Celebration of the Queen’s Birthday”. Say what? In short, it’s a bit of a street party with bunting, cake, live music and local shops joining in too. The same day there’s the Crown Road Street Party in St Margarets. Again the royal theme looms large. There’s even a Queen’s 90th Birthday Garden Party in the Diamond Jubilee Gardens (update: we’ve heard that this DJG event has now been cancelled but are seeking corroboration). Put simply, on that Sunday, if you’re a staunch republican, stay indoors or get outta town!
On Saturday 18th June Church Street Goes Green as it gets astroturfed and filled with plants, gardening gizmos, music, food and drink. On Sunday 19th it’s the East Twickenham Summer Fair in Cambridge Gardens – a pleasant way to spend an afternoon by the Thames. Twickenham Carnival also takes place on Sunday 19th June. The carnival parade begins at York House at midday and wends its way to Orleans House Gallery. The theme this year is ‘Capability Brown’. The famous landscape architect was born 300 year ago dontcha know, and has been the subject of an exhibition at the gallery but whether he loved to paaaarrty like a badass is not entirely clear.
Strawberry Hill Music and Fun Day is on Sunday 26th June in the leafy surrounds of the house. One of the sponsors of this year’s event is Loos for Do’s so you can at least expect first class facilities to enhance your whole music listening experience. That very same Sunday also sees live music on Twickenham Embankment courtesy of Twickenham Alive. Competition or complementary planning? You decide. The Twickenham Alive event ties in to the long running Charlie Shore Regatta on the same day. (And if you’re wondering about dragon boat racing and stand up paddle boarding, this year its taking place on the weekend of the 6th and 7th of August.)
Into July and the St Margarets Fair takes place on Saturday 9th at Moormead. Music, food, beer, Pimms, entertainment for children and a dog show are just some of the things to grab your attention. It’s always a popular event.
And that’s all we’ve got so say about that.
Actually, no it isn’t. Other things which might tickle your fancy include tours of Alexander Pope’s Grotto and ARThouse Open studios where you can drop in to artists’ studios across the borough to see their work. ARThouse runs on the weekends of the 24th to 26th June and then again on the 1st to 3rd July. Eel Pie Island Artists will also be opening their studios on the same weekends so take a wander over the bridge to see what they’re up to.
Oh and one thing that is not happening but we reckon should maybe happen one day is a Twickenham Music Day when every pub or restaurant puts on music of all sorts of genres and us normal folk can wander from venue to venue checking out the different sounds. A list of venues, a list of bands and hey presto, we’ve got ourselves our own music day right in the heart of our little old town.
Why have we missed things from our summary? It’s because we’re crediting you with deep wisdom and great initiative and are assuming that if you’ve got this far then you can also click on some of the links, use Google or dig out the Twickenham Festival Guide that should have dropped through your door to find out more for yourselves. That’s what we’d do in a similar situation. Probably.
That’s it! Who knows what the weather will do but go out there and have a good one. Your town, your festival.