Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

2020 Thatcham Festival launches tomorrow (Saturday)

Content includes socially distanced and online events during coronavirus pandemic

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

2020 Thatcham Festival launches tomorrow (Saturday)

THE Thatcham Festival kicks off this weekend in digital-heavy format and socially-distanced activities.

The festival, now in its 20th year, showcases the history, groups, societies and artistic talents of residents.

With Government guidance limiting the amount of people at events, the town council has shifted most of this year’s programme online, although some activities will be held in a socially-distanced format.

Town mayor Mike Cole said: “Many of our live events have had to be cancelled or altered significantly to allow for the latest Government guidelines caused by the Covid-19 virus.

“We have, we feel, adapted well and there are still a wide range of events available ranging from walks to leisure and craft fairs, photography and art exhibitions and online workshops in dance, singing and talks.

“We have kept the basis of the festival the same with all activity (unless stated) free to Thatcham residents.”

Live events, all following the latest Government guidelines, include the Leisure and Craft Fair kicking off the festival at 10am on Saturday, with gifts and displays from local independent traders and community organisations.

There will be a restricted and bookable preschool Mini Fest on Tuesday from 9am to 2pm with a number of fun providers.

Fun on the Field will appeal to families of all ages as The Memorial Playing Field hosts classic cars, a fun dog show, fun fair and other attractions from 10am onwards on October 17.

A number of local walks are on offer throughout the festival, limited in group size, with walks taking place at the Nature Discovery Centre, St Mary’s Church and Greenham Common.

The Thatcham Photographic Club Exhibition and Tanya’s Art Exhibition, are taking place online, as well as all festival talks.

Content ranges from Thatcham history by Dr Nick Young and three talks on climate change from founding member of the West Berkshire Climate Action Network Miriam Lee, Bristol-based writer Deborah Tomkins and a talk in association with GreenFest by TV and radio presenter Matthew Shribman on what a green recovery might look like.

Those interested in singing and wishing to be part of a virtual choir can register by October 18 at: 

A dance workshop will also feature  at 10am this Sunday when there will be a premiere of nine different dance films, created by dance organisations, appealing to people in Thatcham.

The featured dance styles will appeal to all ages and all styles from street dance to ballet to tap to dance as fitness.

To find out more about the dance showcase and all the events and activities taking place during Thatcham Festival, go to the Thatcham Festival Facebook page or the town council website, call into the town council offices on Brownsfield Road or call (01635) 863592.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000