Puppets, flowers and music for Redbourn 900
PUBLISHED: 22:48 21 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:25 20 February 2013
This year, Redbourn residents are celebrating 900 years of their community. Louise McEvoy takes a closer look at the village, the anniversary events and the organisers behind this eclectic mix
SITUATED about five miles from St Albans and Hemel Hempstead and about three miles from Harpenden, Redbourn has a tradition of farming and for a time was home to a successful watercress business.
Silk throwing was carried out at Woolhams Mill near Redbourn Common, and in 1996 the mill became home to the village museum. Straw plaiting and hat making were old industries in Redbourn, with the village hall formerly a straw hat factory.
St Marys Church was founded in 1110, when it is believed the community was made up of just 27 people. Today, more than 5,000 people live in the vibrant village, and the sense of community spirit is very strong.
A village-wide consultation into how Redbourn should celebrate its 900th anniversary produced many ideas, and resulted in a programme of events throughout the year. So far, these events have included a concert by chamber choir Vasari Singers, a family fun and sports day, and a day which celebrated Redbourns rural and environmental heritage with tours of some of the working farms, tractor rides, and Morris dancing.
Chief organisers of the celebrations, known as Redbourn 900, are husband and wife team Keith and Penny McAdam, who have owned a house in the village for about 20 years but who have lived abroad for some time. Its been a wonderful opportunity to meet people in the village, says Keith. We have discovered what a lovely village it is; and its been really interesting to see how many people get involved with passion to do something with their community. In the year-and-a-half we have been involved, the community has come together in such a big way, and its enjoyable to see the people of different generations together.
Keith says he and Penny wanted to have great fun and make sure the community was brought together, but he explains that Redbourn 900 also has the aim of maintaining, enhancing and inspiring the integration and sustainability of the community in the long-term. We want to create a fund for the future, to enhance facilities and activities for the youth, to strengthen international links so children can learn about the wider world, and to establish a creative hub in the village, he says.
As part of Redbourn 900, one of those organising an event an art exhibition in Cumberland Garden on Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4 is watercolourist Linda Owen, who has lived in Redbourn for five years. There are about 18 artists taking part, who will be exhibiting and selling watercolours, oils, ceramics, prints and mixed media, and Linda says, The garden is an ideal backdrop for celebrating the work of Hertfordshire artists. The art teacher, who has painted for many years, adds, There will be prices to suit all pockets. I want it to have something for everybody, and be very relaxed.
For more information about Redbourn 900, and to book tickets for events, visit www.redbourn900.co.uk
JOIN IN THE FUN
Saturday, June 26
Carnival beginning with parade in High Street at 11am and culminating in village fete on common.
Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4
Flower festival at St Marys Church
Redbourn artists exhibition in Cumberland Garden
Saturday, July 10
Barn dance at Kettlewells Farm, 7.30pm, with live band and barbecue
Saturday, July 17
Full performance of Handels Messiah at St Marys Church, 7.30pm
Sunday, July 18
Performance by cast of Radio 4s The Archers at the village hall, 7.30pm
Tuesday, July 20
Puppet theatre company Obelon Arts presents The Singing Storycloth at St Lukes School Battle of the Bands at The Bull, 7.30pm
Wednesday, July 21
Amateur and professional entertainers perform for Redbourns senior residents at the care centre,
St Marys Church, 2.30pm
Hymn singing at
The Cricketers, 7.30pm
Thursday, July 22
Redbourn Folk Club at The Hollybush, 8pm
Friday, July 23
Screening of hit movie Grease, with fish and chip supper, at the recreation centre, 7.30pm
Saturday, July 24
BBC Big Band dinner and dance at the recreation centre, 8pm
Saturday, September 11
Chamber choir Canticle
at St Marys Church, 7.30pm
Sunday, September 12
Redbourn Finale on the common, including childrens cricket tournament, Redbourns Got Talent, mad hatters tea party, and world record attempt for most people wearing hats