All the fun of the festival as Uckfield meets its fete

In the swing of Uckfield Festival
In the swing of Uckfield Festival

A heart-stopping electric car Grand Prix; dramatic street parade; lively market plus music, dance, smart dogs and plenty to eat and drink - highlights of the first weekend of the 15th Uckfield Festival, judged by many to be the best ever.

It was hard to know where to go in Uckfield over the weekend as the Festival razzled dazzled its way into town.

Dozens of stallholders displayed their wares to visitors on Luxford Field as the rainclouds cleared heralding a perfect day. One of the star turns of the day was German band The Greenhorns from twin town Quickborn – their music must have crossed the Atlantic to inspire their national football team.

Community arts group Same Sky worked to help Uckfield Community College students and pupils from 13 primary schools create a magical atmosphere on the theme of the Sussex Landscape. Crowds cheered enthusiastically as they paraded down the High Street to Luxford Field.

On Sunday, more than 1,000 people headed to TR Fastening’s capacious car park on the Bellbrook Estate to watch would-be Lewis Hamiltons spin their specially built electric vehicles around a racetrack.

This massively popular event begins earlier in the year when Year Six primary schoolchildren begin to design and build their ‘greenpower’ electric cars. Each costs in the region of £100 and the competition receives financial support from local businesses, the Uckfield Rotary Club and Uckfield Community Technology College itself, which also provides engineering expertise.

This year 21 primaries took part and the overall winner was Rocks Park School, taking the chequered flag just ahead of East Hoathly, Holy Cross and Maresfield’s Bonners School.

The schools’ Grand Prix has all the excitement of the real thing and the authentic atmosphere is built with marshals, safety tyre-walls, pits and racing balaclavas. Families – as always – were swept up in the excitement of the day.