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Elford musical extravaganza’s all in aid of the ‘village people’

July 4, 2014

image002PARTYGOERS can rest assured they’re not just “here for the beer.”

They’ll certainly be plenty whet the appetite, tickle the taste buds and give the ear drums an airing as the ‘Village People’ take to the stage tomorrow.

For the volunteers who have transformed the once-dilapidated seven acre site in Elford are staging a re-run of their highly-successful Folk and Real Ale Family Day.

The festival is geared up to be a ‘beerly good show’ with no fewer than 20 real ales as well as ciders and lagers. With a marquee and two side tents – there’s no danger the weather will play a part.

image004“Rain or shine – it will be a ‘dry’ festival in a weather sense at least,” said Dick Cowley, one of the organisers.

The community event this Saturday – lasting all afternoon and evening – is designed to celebrate the ongoing restoration work by the village’s team of volunteers and all proceeds are going to the upkeep of the Elford Walled Garden. 

The musical entertainment event kicks off with Elford Singers followed by Barry Hunt, Raz King Bobo 1st, Lichfield Lighthouse Company, Walled Garden Wailers, Claret the Band, Jane Hill, Pro Tempore and rounding off the day with Morag and Co.

Visitors can stroll around the beautiful gardens and enjoy the stalls at the event – taking in a cream tea or two. There’ll be an all-day barbecue with top quality burgers and bangers from award-winning Alrewas butcher Peter Coates and a hog roast in the evening.

image005The Georgian Grade II-listed walled garden has been brought back to life over the past few years thanks to the tireless efforts of a group of volunteers called the Elford Hall Garden Project.

The gardens were once part of the Elford Estate, which was given to the people of Birmingham by the village squire, F Howard Paget, in July 1936, but later fell into disrepair. Elford Hall itself was bulldozed in 1964.

The project to restore the 400-plus yards long, 10ft high wall and surrounding area began in 2007 and was part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. In 2011, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, officially opened Elford Hall Gardens.

In 2012 the volunteers received more royal recognition during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend by being awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service  – the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups.

Gates open on Saturday, July 5 at 1pm with the entertainment beginning at 2pm and running until 11pm. There’s free parking with disabled facilities at the gardens in the paddock.

Tickets, at £6 for adults and £3 for under 14s, are still available from Whittington Post Office. For more details call Dick Cowley 01827 383460 or 07986 804289 or go to http://www.elfordbeerfestival.org

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