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Thatcham goes back to the 80s in outdoor Spring event



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Neon tutus, legwarmers and glow sticks made up some of the colourful outfits seen along the High Street in the 'Spring into Thatcham' event at the weekend.

The town council's latest event, organised by Momo Events, saw the Broadway go back in time for a brand new 80s themed party, on Saturday (March 26).

The sunny weather reflected the event's premise of welcoming spring and opening up the High Street for a colourful celebration of the new season.

Kennet pupil Molly Graham and her friends raised money for their late friend Jack
Kennet pupil Molly Graham and her friends raised money for their late friend Jack

A giant screen playing 80s music videos sat next to the Broadway Green, as attendees shopped for sweets, refreshments and home-made art.

As night fell and Whitney Houston's voice filled the street, residents danced and enjoyed the 'bucking bronco'.

Donning a Choose Life t-shirt, an infamous 80s garment, the mayor of Thatcham walked the High Street welcoming visitors and stall holders.

He said: “It is nice to be able to get out into the community and see events like this happening.

Vanessa Mayfield entertained crowds in her 80s inspired costume
Vanessa Mayfield entertained crowds in her 80s inspired costume

“This is the result of the great event Thatcham Fest Off, which was a huge success.”

He added: “We thought let’s do another event called Spring into Thatcham. This is the first one.”

The mayor wasn’t the only person to wear WHAM-inspired outfits, with members of the public in matching t-shirts stopping to take photos with him.

Mr Boyd’s outfit, printed by Broadway-based company Inks Personalized, also read ‘Frankie says Relax’ - another classic staple of the 80s.

Thatcham residents Kim and Paul Curtis matching the mayor. Picture by: Kim and Paul
Thatcham residents Kim and Paul Curtis matching the mayor. Picture by: Kim and Paul

Inks Personalized owner Alex Myers was there with his family, who spent the day running sweet shop Sweet Imagination.

Mr Myers said: “It is great seeing them put events like this on as it brings the community together.”

He went on to say that it brings people into the Broadway and brings in new faces.

Thatcham mayor John Boyd enjoying the Spring into Thatcham event
Thatcham mayor John Boyd enjoying the Spring into Thatcham event

Stilt walkers greeted young children and posed for photos, as did a seven foot Star Wars character, Chewbacca, though he was mistaken for a fellow four legged friend by passing dogs.

The man behind the mask, Scott Boyd acquired the sci-fi costume through an online community charity raffle. Out of 8,000 people, he won the outfit with a small portion of the money going to making the suit and the rest to an Alzheimer’s charity.

He said: “It was really fun to see everyone’s face when I walked onto the High Street interacting with all the children and adults alike and seeing how much people loved a giant walking teddy bear….. albeit a little intimidating for some.”

Attendees eight-year-old Eve and six-year-old Isla Clifton
Attendees eight-year-old Eve and six-year-old Isla Clifton

Stall holder Molly Grahame, 16, and her friends were out selling sweet treats and raising money in memory of their late friend Jack Loughlin, who died on March 9 from a congenital heart disease.

The Kennet School pupils raised a total of £134.92 for Great Ormund Street Hospital [GOSH], where Jack was being treated, and have already handed the funds to the school who are continuing to raise money for the year 11 pupil.

Miss Grahame, who started her business Molly's Delights in lockdown, said: “It means a lot to be here. He wanted to raise money for [GOSH] and he used to buy sweets from my business.

“We knew him since primary school.”

Molly Graham, 16 and Erin Wood, 15 selling sweets from Molly's Delights
Molly Graham, 16 and Erin Wood, 15 selling sweets from Molly's Delights

In addition to the popcorn, jelly sweets and lollypops, food and refreshments were on offer courtesy of another Broadway-based company Cook and Butcher, which recently celebrated its 12 year anniversary.

Ali Congerton, while serving food from his horseshoe box, said: “It’s good to be here, to see the friendly faces that we see anyway as our shop is right around the corner.

“It is nice to see the High Street busy, especially since the sun is out. It just makes everyone happy.”

Young attendees enjoy getting their faces painted
Young attendees enjoy getting their faces painted

Local artist and mum-of-two Rebecca Jackson said that the event was a “good opportunity” for her to showcase her art to the Thatcham community.

Rebecca Jackson with her handmade art
Rebecca Jackson with her handmade art

She began creating her colourful pieces in lockdown after feeling a little bit “crazy” being stuck at home. She said: “I just needed something to do for me. Last time I came to the Big Thatcham Fest Off there was such a good atmosphere so I thought I would come along again.”



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