Sneak Peek at the 2024 Brochure

We are currently putting the final touches to the programme of events and our designer has been working hard on the brochure. Here is what the cover will probably look like, which will give some hints on what you can expect to see inside!

The brochure should appear soon after Easter and, in the meantime, watch out for press releases in the Nailsworth News and updates on these news pages.

Eco Fancy Dress Competition

From the April Nailsworth News

New for 2023, Nailsworth Festival will be putting on a Fancy Dress Competition with an Eco theme. Costumes must be eco-friendly/ hand-made/ recycled or upcycled. It will take place on Festival Saturday 20th May at 12 noon in Market Square.

Open to all ages there will be a prize for Overall Best aged 8-100, of a family day for four at adventure park ‘Cattle country’, and a prize for Overall Best aged 0-7, of a family day for four at Slimbridge, including ‘Welly Boot land’.

There will also be prizes for 1st and 2nd in each of three categories:

  1. Events, people, and famous characters
  2. Robots, machines, items and things
  3. Conservation, the natural world and climate action

These prizes will include Amazon Gift Tokens and Coco Gift Tokens. Rosettes will be given to all entrants and also special prizes at the Judges’ discretion.

Prizes will be awarded by the Judges and the Mayor of Nailsworth. Entry forms can be obtained from the Town Information Centre at Nailsworth Library or by email: [email protected] give your name, chosen category, and age.

A full programme of all the acts and activities for the Festival will be published in next month’s edition of Nailsworth News and is already on the Festival website. You can also follow the Festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Photographs and Memories

An exhibition of Nailsworth memories and photographs will be shown – as part of Nailsworth Festival – from May 17-28 at Three Storeys, Old Bristol Rd, Nailsworth GL6 0JE, entry free, Tues-Fri, 8.30am-4pm; Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, 10am-3pm.

Katie Jarvis introduces the event here:

I guess it started with a photograph. A beautiful photograph unmistakeably of Horsley village. To the right of the street stand three children, stock-still as if commanded so by the man with the camera (and, yes, almost certainly a man). Children who – as soon as the camera shutter closes – will shrug off their immobility and chase after a ball; or shout cheekily at their immortaliser; or, perhaps, run off to scrog apples round the brimming orchards of Downend.

But there are clues that the familiarity felt by a 21st century viewer is a bluff. Clues that these are children no more: for each wears a formal cap; and the street they stand on is strangely empty: not a car in sight…

Or maybe it started before that: with my grandmother, who would sing me old songs – Red stockings, blue garters, my shoes are tied with silver. Who would tell me how, as a little girl, she saw crowds cheering young soldiers marching off to war. The First World War, that is.

These images and stories were not so much windows into the past, as chinks of sepia light. And they fascinated me – because the alien world they evoked was one that had only just disappeared round the corner.

Since then, I’ve been trying to capture memories before they vanish. I’ve spoken to local residents – some with us no longer – about ‘Bobby’ Bourton, the local copper, who knew everyone by name: game for a pursuit when he saw a schoolboy pinching one of those sour Downend apples. ‘He dived and started chasing me,’ remembered Herby Creed (born 1917), who sped across the fields before walking casually back up the same way. ‘Did you see any lads running down the field?’ I said, ‘No, I’ve just come up!’

Muriel Newman (born 1916), who lived in Newmarket, and loved the well-water that served their cottage. ‘We’d lift the board on the bucket mum used to wind, and then we did sit on the step in the evenings and have a cup of it. That was all you wanted’.

Wilfred Hartley (born 1922) loved visiting his grandparents each Sunday at Egypt Mill, but avoided having to use the toilets at all costs. ‘They were in a hut used by all the people who lived there, and they were straight over the water.’

Nailsworth had Harts, the exclusive ladies’ shop; Freshwaters, the grocer’s in Market Street. Harold Fletcher had a fish shop where William’s is now: ‘He had no freezers or fridges. The fish used to lie on a steel tray with fresh water running over it from a pipe…’

Or the man at Harley Wood, convinced a neighbour was pinching his outside store of firewood. So he drilled a hole in a couple of logs and filled them with gunpowder. The next day, a neighbour’s grate blew out.

These stories – and there are many – are wonderful; they’re also more than the sum of their parts. For their half-hidden whispers tell of empty roads that children could safely play in; of families content with the simplest drink of well-water; of police officers who knew every apple was of value; of precious firewood essential for heating and cooking.

And, perhaps, they also tell us a little of how the solutions we look for in an unsustainable world were once a way of life.

Nailsworth Festival Main Acts

(Reproduced from the March edition of Nailsworth News, but please note the update in blue relating to the Saturday evening show)

As previously announced, this year’s Nailsworth Festival starts on Saturday 20th May. We can now give a bit more detail on some of the main performances.

The Saturday evening show is Three Acres and a Cow, part TED talk, part history lecture, part folk club sing-along, part storytelling session… the show connects the Norman Conquest and Peasants’ Revolt with current issues like the housing crisis, reparations, climate breakdown and food sovereignty.

We are sorry to announce that Three Acres and a Cow is no longer on our programme.

The Festival’s classical concert this year, will be performed by the Piatti Quartet. The Piattis are famed for passionate interpretations across the spectrum of string quartet writing. Their programme will include an arrangement of three preludes on Welsh folk tunes by Vaughan Wiilliams, and quartets by Rachmaninov and Smetana. An evening not to be missed.

A highlight of the week will be the appearance of wildlife presenter, ranger and author, Ajay Tegala. Ajay has worked on and off-screen for the BBC, ranging from Springwatch to CBeebies, and has recently written his first book, The Unique Life of a Ranger.

On Thursday the Accidental Brass Collective will be blowing the roof off at St. George’s Church (hopefully not literally).

The final main performance of the week will feature the Magnificent AKs (the singing blokes of Ashton Keynes). This troupe of singers have performed in the Colston Hall and the Roundhouse and they’ve appeared live on Radio 3’s The Choir.

A full programme of activities will be published in future editions of Nailsworth News and on the Festival website

Nailsworth Festival 2023

(From the February edition of Nailsworth News)

This year’s Nailsworth Festival starts on Saturday 20th May. As ever, the entertainment is designed to appeal to all, beginning with free performances in Mortimer Gardens on Festival Saturday. Highlights across the week will include: a talk by TV wildlife presenter, ranger and author, Ajay Tegala; a performance by the Piatti Quartet; a Festival Poetry Slam with Elvis McGonagall and Sara-Jane Arbury; brass band music from Accidental Brass Collective; the Magnificent AKs choir and much, much more. If you would like to become involved with the Festival or explore sponsorship options, please contact the Committee using the following email: [email protected] . A full programme of activities will be published in future editions of Nailsworth News and on the Festival website. You can also follow the Festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Ajay Tegala

TV presenter Ajay Tegala

2022 Festival in Full Swing

The festival got off to a great start with lovely weather on Festival Saturday. Our Gallery page has some pictures of the entertainment on offer, both in the main venue in Mortimer Gardens and on Market Street.

Moscow Drug Club at Nailsworth Town Hall 25 May 2022

Since then, we have had a number of maximum capacity audiences. People have been booking later this year, perhaps influenced by their experience over the past couple of years. However, the clear message to everyone is not to leave buying tickets to the last minute or you may be disappointed!

Headline Acts for 2022 – Press Release

Following the announcement last month that Nailsworth Festival is back in May this year, we can now provide more details of the main acts.

Brodsky Quartet (Photo: Sarah Cresswell)

We are delighted to be welcoming the Brodsky String Quartet back to Nailsworth, as part of their 50th anniversary tour. Since forming in 1972, they have retained a pre-eminent position amongst British string quartets. As well as performing around the world and earning praise for their complete cycles of quartets by Shostakovich, Beethoven, Schubert and others, they have made musical history with ground-breaking collaborations with celebrated artists from the world of rock and pop. They will be appearing on Saturday 28th May.

Ken Wood and the Mixers
Mrs Christie at her desk

On Saturday 21st May Ken Wood and The Mixers will bring their own unique blend of bold, brassy soul, stomping R&B and ludicrous on-stage antics. They will be presenting “Amazing Stories of Blues and Soul” the Mixers’ very own big stage show – a breathless musical journey to discover the roots of soul.

Liz Grand is another artist returning to the Festival, with her new one-woman show ‘Where Is Mrs Christie?’. In 1926, the famous author went missing, presumed dead by many, for eleven days. Was it a publicity stunt? Or was there a darker secret involved in this disappearance that was to affect her for the rest of her life? The answer to all these questions will, as in all good thrillers, be revealed in this show!

The Festival provides an opportunity for you enter the darkly comic world of Moscow Drug Club on Wednesday 25th May. Combining their original material with songs by the likes of Jaques Brel, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits & Eartha Kitt, Moscow Drug Club provide an intoxicating & intimate musical experience. Moscow Drug Club have played some great venues and festivals of note including: WOMAD, National Theatre London, International Gypsy Guitar Festival, Trowbridge Pump Festival, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival and many others.