FESTIVAL: Farewell, with good memories

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It was in 1985 when I first heard from an Alnwickite, also on holiday in Scarborough, about your festival.

Since then every year you will have seen the man in the light blue suit and tie, even when the sun came out, carrying a black bag containing a cushion for my gluteus minimus for a full day’s ‘sit’.

I have a flat cap on top of my head, a Turnbull’s pie to nibble and a piece of violin to work on between acts – who else brings homework on holiday?

Of course, the early festivals were on an asphalt surface with us standing around.

Then they got us seats and a stage, which was barely adequate for the larger groups and could be difficult when wet.

It was always causing the volunteers big problems, but they coped apparently seamlessly, even with last-minute cancellations.

This year, there were even more problems, but it was still a good show, with no school to house the acts.

Over the years, I have made many international friends – a Moscow family even adopted me as ‘a spare grandfather’.

I have a drawer full of programmes, letters to remind me of great times, many Alnwick friends, especially those with dogs, and lots of happy memories.

However, the bad news for some is that, for reasons I keep to myself, this 31st visit will be my last.

So with regrets, and I hope with a few cheers, it’s goodbye from you, and goodbye from me.

Colin Hierde,

Alport Road,

Sheffield