WIckham Market: Festival to boost village after fire

Ross Turner meets up with local Businesses and Residents of Wickham Market ahead of the Beer Festiva

Ross Turner meets up with local Businesses and Residents of Wickham Market ahead of the Beer Festival that is is organising for the town. Pictured with Cath Caudwell of the Town Team - Credit: Archant

A three day beer and music festival is hoping to lift spirits in a Suffolk village still reeling from the loss of its last remaining pub.

The Turner and Taylor Hog and Ale Experience will be bringing its extensive collection of ales, ciders and lagers to Wickham Market next month for a celebration of food, drink and live music.

Festival organiser Ross Turner hopes the event will “boost” the village following the loss of its only pub, The George Inn, which was devastated by fire back in April.

“Wherever you go places seem to be losing their community spirit, particularly with the closure of village pubs,” he said.

“With these festivals, people who might have known each other to nod when they pass in the street suddenly engage in conversation and get to know one another, which helps to bring the community together.”

Mr Turner, who has run a number of festivals in small towns across Suffolk, including a successful festival in Saxmundam last month, claims to have received “nothing but good feedback” from people in the village.

Wickham Market’s Town Team has welcomed the event, which supports its own aspirations to bring more events to the village and attract greater numbers of visitors.

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Team chairman Colin Owens said the village has suffered recently with the closure of businesses and the relocation of the only supermarket from the market place to the outskirts.

“The life of the village centre has diminished but now with the Town Team having looked at the problems that need remedying, we think we should be able to revitalise the village and even improve on what it was,” he said. “We want to support events like this beer festival which we hope will bring people together not only in the village but from the surrounding communities as well and give them all a good time.”

The event, which runs from the evening of November 22 until 7.30pm on November 24 at the village hall, will feature a wide range of real ales, ciders and lagers, including a number of local breweries.

A hog roast will be served throughout the festival and on Sunday there will a beer and cheese matching session featuring Suffolk varieties.

Local bands will be playing on the Friday and Saturday evening with a more mellow collection of jazz and swing on the Sunday afternoon.