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Beer festivals , carnivals, markets, shows and war gaming all on today

John Herring



01635 886633

Newbury Real Ale Festival goes down a treat

There's a jam-packed list of events going on across West Berkshire today. 

The Newbury Real Ale Festival returns to the Northcroft playing fields from noon.

The event will feature more than 150 ales and more than 100 ciders; plus live music throughout the day. 

Money raised goes to Naomi House and Newbury and Thatcham Hockey Club, who organise the event with Media Fusion.

Also today, armies will be descending on Newbury Racecourse; but don’t worry, they’re only miniatures and form part of Colours 2016, hosted by Newbury & Reading Wargames Society.

“The premier wargaming show in the South” will see up to 80 traders and as many as 40 demonstration and participation games on the day.

Competitions in wargaming, modelling and figure painting and a bring and buy stall will also feature.

The show also features demonstrations of model-making and painting from a number of societies.

Displays of uniforms, weapons, drill and combat by living history and re-enactment organisations will also helps bring the models to life.

Colours will be held between 10am and 5pm.

The club meets in Newbury at Fir Tree Primary School between 7pm and 11pm on Mondays.

Cold Ash Horticultural Society will be hosting its summer show today.

Celebrating 80 years affiliation to the Royal Horticultural Society, the show has plenty for flora enthusiasts. 

It includes classes for vegetables, fruit, flowers, homecraft, photography and juniors, a super plant and fresh produce sale and homemade cakes.

Children aged under five years can make a monster or alien from fruit and vegetables or put their artistic skills to use by decorating a paper plate. 

For five- to seven-year-olds, there’s a chance to grow a mustard and cress cat, or to make a fruit and vegetable robot. And eight- to 11-year-olds can get baking jam tarts or make a robot out of recycled materials. 

Members and non-members are welcome to enter the different classes. Entry forms are available at Cold Ash Post Office or on the day. Once again, the Cold Ash Greening Group will be selling fresh, local produce.

People with surplus of fruit or vegetables can bring them along to the Greening Group stall at 1.30pm to be bagged and sold.

The show will be held in the Acland Hall  between 2pm and 4.30pm, staging exhibits between 8.30am and 10.30am.

And it's carnival time in Hungerford, folks.

The annual event, organised by the Hungerford Chamber of Commerce, takes place today. 

The parade will assemble at John O’Gaunt School in Priory Road at 2.15pm for judging of the best walking entry and best float.

The parade will then  move off at 3pm and will travel along Priory Road, Salisbury Road, High Street and Bridge Street before finishing at the junction of Bridge Street and Charnham Street.

West Berkshire Council’s senior road safety and traffic technician, Heather Wells, has warned of road closures as a result of the carnival crowds and parade.

The roads affected will be closed between 3pm and 5pm

A plan of the closure can be found at

According to the Hungerford Virtual Museum the annual summer carnival was a popular and well-supported event in the town’s calendar between the wars.

Carnivals were first held in Hungerford in 1932 in order to collect money for an ambulance service. Festivities typically included water sports held around the canal, including children’s swimming races, the greasy pole races and even aquatic pillow fights.

Head to Aldworth for free birthday cake to celebrate the 14th birthday of Aldworth’s Community Market at the village’s new hall.

Stalls selling local foods, flowers, crafts and a charity market featuring the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice will be on offer. 

And dog owners can put their pet through their paces around the dog agility display course for £1, with displays also running throughout the event. 

The community market will run from 9.30am to noon in the village hall. 

Also going on today: 

Suddenly, The Watermill, Bagnor. 11am. Really Big Pants Theatre Company presents a story-telling show for primary-aged children. £6. Box office: (01635) 46044.

Young Corn Exchange event with local performers, St Nicolas Primary School Playground, Newbury. 7.45pm.

Jumble sale, St John’s Hall, Mortimer. 10.30am. In aid of Save the Children.

Martin Carthy, New Greenham Arts. 8pm. £15. 01845 5218218

Wash Common Garden and Craft Show, Wash Common Community Centre, Glendale Avenue, Newbury. 2pm-3.15pm. Home-grown produce, baking and preserves, handicrafts, flower arranging, art and photography.

First World War poetry readings by Jonathan Jones, Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere. 11am-5pm. No booking. Normal chapel entry charge applies.

Outdoor cinema screening of Mamma Mia, Bucklebury Farm Park. £10. Advance tickets only. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Book via email or online at

Speed dating: the musical, Ace Space, Newbury. 7.30pm.

(and Sunday) Free tours of St Nicolas Church bell tower, The ringing chamber, bell chamber, and top of the bell tower will be opened for a limited number of free tours as part of the national Heritage open days event.

Each tour can accommodate 16 people and takes around 50 minutes. Pre-book at the church office in person, call (01635) 47018 or email ( The bell tower is accessed by 123 steps up a narrow spiral staircase. Access is not possible for wheelchairs, pushchairs or prams.

Silchester Beer Festival, Silchester Village Hall. 4pm. £10

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