Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper

Back on the Village Green, the pipes, the pipes are calling…

FeatureJoanne Eisemann
Brian Owens of Ouse, flute and tin whistle player, playing his Indian rosewood flute on the Westbury Village Green. Just one of Brian’s collection of wind instruments, the flute was made in 1837 by an instrument maker called Joseph Wallis, in the Euston Road, London.   Photo | Mike Moores

Brian Owens of Ouse, flute and tin whistle player, playing his Indian rosewood flute on the Westbury Village Green. Just one of Brian’s collection of wind instruments, the flute was made in 1837 by an instrument maker called Joseph Wallis, in the Euston Road, London.

Photo | Mike Moores

WESTBURY AND the Village Green came alive on Saturday 16th March with the town’s revival of the annual St Patrick’s Festival. This iconic event drew big crowds to revel in the sunshine and soak up a wonderful atmosphere of Celtic and community spirit.

There was something for everyone – a street parade led by St Patrick himself, a bustling church market, more craft and food stalls than you could poke a stick at, vintage tractors, classic cars, children’s activities and a packed program of folk music, song and dance.

As always, the Maypole dancing by Westbury Primary School students proved to be a huge hit and in its traditional Village Green setting, created a real sense of history coming alive. John Hickey of the Wheels folk group gave his thanks, “for organising such a charming festival.

The Wheels really enjoyed it, especially as traditional Irish music is so relevant to Westbury’s rich history. “The music in the church was a highlight for me (great acoustic venue). Barry Higgins’ Irish pipes sounded wonderful. “Hope the Steering Group got a chance to enjoy the festival as much as we did.” The Festival’s new committee have been buoyed by the community response and has already started planning for 2020.

Chairman, Phil Steers, said, “the decision to make the Festival entry by donation has been a total success with many more local families able to enjoy celebrating the town’s Irish roots. “Thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen. With the weather with us, we look forward to an even bigger event next year.”