Arts and crafts at Maresfield Festival

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THIS YEAR heralds the 19th year of the annual Maresfield Arts and Crafts Festival to be held on the May Bank Holiday weekend. The festival was expanded in 2011 and looks set to get even bigger this year including performing arts and an increased selection of arts and crafts exhibitors. It’s organised by registered charity the Maresfield Conservation Group. All proceeds go towards maintaining the heritage of the historic village and providing improvements for the benefit of everyone.

A new innovation this year is the introduction of Jazz in the Hall, the first of a series of concerts which will feature The Deux Johns Orchestra performing new compositions and interpreting standards. This will be held in the village hall at 7.30pm on Saturday, May 5, and tickets can be bought from Maresfield Post Office or by calling 01825 766815. Seating is limited, so you should buy your tickets well in advance.

The arts and crafts section of the festival will be held on Monday, May 7 from 10am and exhibits including paintings, photography, ceramics, stonework and associated crafts – all of which will be for sale – can be seen in the village hall, the churchyard, The Lodge garden and The Chequers Inn’s garden and barn restaurant. There will be marquees in all outside areas in case of bad weather. In addition, by kind permission of resident Mr John Bury, there will be a demonstration throughout the day of a fine restored 19th century hand printing press at 23 High Street.

A grand prize draw includes dinner for two and four at Marco Pierre White’s Chequers Inn.

Organisers were delighted that last year’s festival attracted a record number of visitors and fully intend to keep raising the standard of the event in the future in conjunction with other new activities to be announced. Information from clive.wilson756@btinternet.com.