If you’re sick of the election and just want to spend some time enjoying life in God’s Own Outer London Suburb (or ‘the Gools’ if you prefer) then you’re in luck. Twickenham Festival is back! Other sites do far more comprehensive listings than us but we’ve included a few highlights below. It’s just the way we roll.
Twickfest 2017 just wouldn’t be #Twickfest without the Tug Off War to get things underway. It takes place at 6.30pm on Friday 9th June outside the Eel Pie pub and sees local teams huff and puff as they get a grip and try to avoid getting pulled off their feet and across the marker on the road. Teams are cheered on by crowds of locals and, at the end of the day, the biggest yankers are the winners. Some people even film it for later viewing! [Editor: OK that’s enough!]
On Saturday 10th, new for 2017, there’s a Dog Show in the Diamond Jubilee Gardens. Registration is from 12.30pm with the main event running from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. There’s more info here on the various categories. Saturday also sees the return of the craft market in Church Street. Expect arts, crafts and a few food stalls.
On Sunday 11th between 10.00am and 12.00pm there is a children’s bike ride treasure hunt and picnic around Orleans Riverside Gardens and Marble Hill Park. You’ll need to pay and pre-booking is essential. Could be fun though?
On Saturday 17th June Church Street Goes Green once again. The road will be astroturfed and filled with plants, gardening gizmos, food stalls and a generally eco-friendly mood will prevail. Let’s hope the eco-vibe isn’t soured by the groaning of planes taking off from Heathrow that day. The St Margaret’s Elastic band will be playing from 1.15pm to 2.15 pm and the Richmond Youth Jazz band will perform from 3.00m until 5.00pm. The greening of Twickenham also takes place on Sunday.
Sunday 25th June and it’s time for Church Street’s Big Picnic. From 12.00 to 5.00pm there will be stalls, music, kids entertainment, dance and of course plenty of food and drink. Bring your own or buy some from one of the many outlets and set yourself up with a picnic. Sunday 25th June also sees the Borough’s Best Banger competition on Twickenham Riverside in the Diamond Jubilee Gardens. Starts midday and is about sausages and not old cars, classic tracks to dance to or indeed anything else for that matter!
Art lovers will want to know that Art House Open Studios returns for two weekends. It’s where local artists open up their studios and let the likes of us lot have a look around. This year’s dates are Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th June and 30th June to 2 July. The Art House website has details of the many artists taking part around the Borough. Linked to this, Eel Pie Island artists will also be showing off their works. It’s well worth a visit to see some art and maybe imbibe in a refreshing glass of Pimms too. More info here.
There’s no Twickenham Carnival this year because of the building work taking place at Orleans House Gallery but you can expect it to return in 2018.
Into July now and Saturday 1st features a Craft Fair at St Mary’s Church Hall from 1.30pm.
Strawberry Hill Music and Fun Day is on Sunday 2nd July in the leafy surrounds of the house. Acts performing include The Mustangs, rock & rollers Nark Drool and the Shudders, and the Eel Pie Allstars. That Sunday also sees live music on Twickenham Green as part of the Village of Twickenham Green Fete organised by the friends of the Green. There’s info at Strawberry Hill Music a website URL that differs from the Strawberry Hill House Music Day event by just a .com instead of a .co.uk. Bit weird that.
And just for good measure that same Sunday is the date of the St Margarets Summer Street Party in Crown Road. There will be live music, food stalls, rides and local stalls. It’s always a popular event.
Also in July is the St Margarets Fair which takes place the following weekend on Saturday 8th at Moormead. Music, food, beer, Pimms, entertainment for children are just some of the things to grab your attention.
Sunday 9th is the long running Charlie Shore Regatta on the river by Twickenham Embankment.
Other things which might tickle your fancy include tours of Alexander Pope’s Grotto on three Saturdays only (10th, 17th and 24th). To see Pope’s Ghetto you is gonna have to book tickets, innit. More detail here. Al fresco dining in Church Street is already back for the summer so that you can enjoy outdoor eating on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Way off into the future – as in the 5th and 6th of August – there will be the return of Stand Up PaddleBoarding and Dragon Boat Racing. And of course we have not mentioned a whole bunch of events and activities such as boat trips, school fetes and local concerts. That’s what the links below are for OK?!
That’s it for now! Who knows what the weather will do but go out there and have a good one. It’s your town, and it’s your festival. Enjoy.