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English_Festival_200413_SK

English_Festival_200413_SK

English_Festival_200413_SK

English_Festival_200413_SK

All images © Simon Kelsey

All images © Simon Kelsey

A record number of visitors took advantage of the sunshine last weekend and flocked to The English Festival for a good old fashioned British day out.

The free event is held each year at Riverside Country Park, Gillingham on the closest Saturday to St George’s Day to celebrate all things quintessentially and quirkily English.

Many thousands of families enjoyed building sandcastles at a specially created seaside, taking part in a Mat Hatter’s Tea Party and meeting St George and his dragon. The park was divided into four themed zones, the Seaside, the Village Square, the English Countryside and Medieval Fun.

Activities included bee keeping, a falconry display, games, face painting and donkey rides. An assortment of colourful characters mingled with the crowds, including bird spotters, duelling lollipop ladies, and of course St George and his pet dragon.
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “The festival was a great success. Saturday’s weather was the nicest of the year so far, and more than 14,000 people turned out for the free event. This festival really has captured people’s imaginations and has grown in popularity each year.

“Families were kept entertained by fair ground rides, donkey rides and duelling lollipop ladies, to name just a few, and enjoyed the mouthwatering food and drink on offer from the numerous stalls available on the day.

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Photo Credit & Copyright Simon Kelsey

Photo Credit & Copyright Simon Kelsey

Where can you build sandcastles, see knights do battle, attend a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and meet St George and his dragon, all in one day?

Thousands of visitors are expected to go along and do just that at this year’s English Festival, which takes place on Saturday 20 April at Riverside Country Park, Gillingham. Held annually on the closest Saturday to St George’s Day, the free family day out celebrates the iconic and ironic traditions of England. More

Spring break is fast approaching and Medway’s children’s centres are getting geared up for a fun filled holiday. From bonnet parades to Easter egg hunts, arts and crafts and a visit from the farm, there’s plenty to keep little ones entertained, rain or shine. There are 19 Sure Start Children’s Centres across Medway. To find out more about your nearest centre and what’s on offer there, visit http://www.medwayfisd.com or call 01634 335566.

Monday, 2 April:
10 to 11am: St James’ Children’s Centre starts the holiday off in traditional fashion with a favourite messy play session at the centre, High Street, Isle of Grain, 270341.

1 to 3.30pm: Easter arts and crafts at Brompton Children’s Centre, Brompton Westbrook Primary School, Kings Bastion, 844152.

1 to 3pm: Get active with an Easter themed sports day at Kingfisher Children’s Centre, Kingfisher Drive, Walderslade, 335850.

Tuesday, 3 April:
12.30 to 2pm: Under 1’s Easter play at All Saints Children’s Centre, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, 338833.

1 to 3pm: Tiny tots Easter play and crafts at Kingfisher Children’s Centre, Kingfisher Drive, Walderslade, 335850.

Wednesday, 4 April:
10 to 11.30am: Get dressed up and join in the Easter parade for children between 2 to 5 years old at Lordswood Children’s Centre, Lordswood Lane, 333670.

Thursday, 5 April:
11.30am to 2.30pm: Coo at the lambs, chickens and cute farm animals at Riverside Children’s Centre, St Edmunds Way, Rainham, when the mobile farm comes to visit.

(The farm will also visit Wayfield children’s centre, 10.30am to 1.30pm on Wednesday, 11 April and Saxon Way Children’s Centre, 10am to 12.30pm on Thursday, 12 April.)

1 to 2pm: Beady eyed toddlers are invited to this year’s Easter egg hunt at St James’ Children’s Centre, High Street, Isle of Grain, 270341.

Tuesday, 10 April:
1 to 3pm: Messy play at Oaklands Children’s Centre, Weedswood Road, Walderslade, 333820.

Wednesday, 11 April:
1.30 to 3.30pm: Head out on a bunny hunt with Temple Mill Children’s Centre at Broomhill Park, Strood.

Thursday, 12 April:
11am to 1pm: Get cooking at Bligh Children’s Centre fun with food session, at the centre, Bligh Way, Strood, 336220.

2 to 3pm: Easter egg hunt and activities at Miers Court Children’s Centre, Silverspot Close, Rainham, 236974.

Friday, 13 April:
10am to 12noon: Green fingered toddlers will be heading to the garden for a planting and growing session at St Helen’s Primary School, Church Street, Cliffe.

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