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Last updated: Monday 11th August 2014
Undeterred by torrential rain all morning yesterday, HWA volunteers and local businesses battled on with preparations for the Festival. Bands that were planned for open air performances relocated to the White Hart in the morning and the Swan in the afternoon. Plastic sheeting was deployed over stalls and gazebos were drilled to the ground.
And we were rewarded! At about mid-day the rain stopped and the sun came out – just in time for the Grand Parade along the High Street. And what a joyful Grand Parade it was, led by the West Side Syncopators playing Dixie jazz accompanied by the clown, the amazing buggets and Henry VIII in Andy’s wonderful vintage Rolls-Royce. And then followed Tudors, including one in a self-powered invalid carriage, and vintage cars and a giant teddy bear and vintage motor-bikes and an ice cream van and a sailing boat and a penny farthing and lots of people from our churches and plotholders from the allotments and councillors and a pony and the FBHP and a ‘sociable bicycle’ and, of course, the gorillas.
From nowhere it seemed, hundreds of spectators appeared to cheer on the Parade and then stayed to enjoy the bands and the BBQs and the HUGE bouncy castle.
Thank you for all the support we have received.
When the rain made a brief but dramatic reappearance it could do nothing to dent the feel-good atmosphere. The West Side Syncopators simply took shelter in a doorway and played ‘Singing in the Rain’. Drenched passers-by laughed and clapped and, in the case of one guy, danced with an umbrella through the puddles…
Huge thanks to everyone who kept smiling through everything and who indeed made this a Hampton Wick day to remember.
See you next year!
Sunday 2nd August 2015
Stop press: the gorillas shared with us the lovely news that since last year they have got married and had a baby gorilla who made his first public outing at the Festival. Our very own Prince George moment.
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