The One Show’s Alex Jones to open Bedford Park Festival

Image above: Alex Jones

Alex Jones, presenter of The One Show, will open the 56th Bedford Park Festival this coming weekend, as its Green Days Fete & Craft Fair is held in person for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown.

The BBC presenter will open the Festival at 11.00am on Saturday 11 June on Acton Green (opposite Turnham Green tube station) and then judge the children’s fancy dress competition – on the theme of the Queen’s Jubilee.

Thousands of people flock to Green Days weekend each year for its mix of live music, funfair, food and drink, children’s corner, five-a-side football and an array of stalls, from craft exhibitors and books to plants and bric-a-brac.

On the Bandstand, there will  be a wide range of music, opening with the Brent Jazz Orchestra and Beverley Stone and including performances from the ArtsEd Day School, Ballet4Life and the local Rock Choir.

Other highlights include the Family Cycle Zone – one of Chiswick’s longest-established cycle events, with a raffle to win a bicycle – and the Electric Vehicle Zone, which this year is bigger than ever, with four car firms displaying electric vehicles on the Green.

Hounslow Cycling Campaign is organising an ‘illuminated bike ride’ to start from Acton Green at the close of the fete (6.30pm) on Saturday.

The organisers say since 2005, under the slogan ‘Keep Green Days Green’ the Festival has recycled all waste from the weekend’s events.

This year, its green activities are sponsored by the new Room2 hotel, which describes itself as the world’s first fully net zero ho(me)tel. The 86-room Chiswick hotel will run activities such as a smoothie bike which will produce fruit and veg smoothies, and rubbish-sorting for children, using the 3 in 1 recycling bins it provides in its rooms.

Image above: Bedford Park Festival in 2018

Two weeks of community events

There will be a ‘Cake Fit for a Queen’ competition in the refreshments tent and many local restaurants have donated a meal for two for the Win A Meal Raffle.

Profits will support St Michael & All Angels Church, which runs the festival for the community, and its three 2022 charities: The Upper Room, helping the needy in Shepherd’s Bush; West London Welcome, a free drop-in centre for refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants; and Swinfen Telemedicine, which links specialist medical expertise to doctors and nurses in remote regions of the world.

Green Days weekend is part of a fortnight-long Festival of arts and community events, based in and around St Michael & All Angels, Bedford Park. See full programme and book tickets at bedfordparkfestival.org.

It begins this Friday 10 June with a lunchtime organ recital by Svyati Duo at 12.30pm in St Michael & All Angels Church. Admission is free, with a retiring collection. On Friday evening, at 6.45pm in the church, it’s the preview party for the Bedford Park Summer Exhibition and Bedford Park Photographic Exhibition, which run throughout Green Days weekend in the church and parish hall.

The Photography exhibition and competition is co-sponsored by The Chiswick Calendar and Snappy Snaps, alongside ArtsEd, and the photographs will also be on show on The Chiswick Calendar website from Friday 10 June.

On Sunday 12 June at 10.30am, St Michael & All Angels holds an open-air Mass On The Green, followed by all the regular Green Days activities.

Monday 13 June sees Cahal Dallat, the poet and leader of the WB Yeats in Bedford Park Artwork Project, performing at The Poetry of Things, the Festival’s annual poetry evening, led by Anne-Marie Fyfe, former chair of the Poetry Society.

On Wednesday 15 June, the celebrated jeweller Theo Fennell will talk about his new memoir I Fear For This Boy in conversation with writer and broadcaster Kathy Lette.

From the opening party to the Festival Mass and Bedford Park Open Gardens on Sunday 26 June 26th, a stimulating array of concerts, talks, walks and drama is promised. Music includes jazz, Gilbert & Sullivan, the London Welsh Rugby Choir, and organ and piano recitals. There should be something for everyone, whatever their age or taste, in aid of charities and the church.

Read the full Festival programme and book tickets at bedfordparkfestival.org.

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