Furneux Pelham gears up for festival

A rare silver stork is coming to Furneux Pelham on Saturday, September 29

After a journey which began in Barcelona 93 years ago, a rare silver stork is coming to Furneux Pelham on Saturday, September 29 - mounted on the bonnet of arguably the most elegant car ever made.

The legendary 1919 Hispano-Suiza H6 will be one of the highlights of the classic car rally at the 26th annual Furneux Pelham Festival. Organisers looking for a repeat of last year’s record breaking temperatures hope to see its yellow bodywork looking resplendent in the Autumn sunshine.

The silver stork was mounted on the Spanish-Swiss luxury marque after the First World War to honour the pilots of France’s Stork Squadron, which flew in bi- planes powered by Hispano-Suiza’s groundbreaking engines.

'One of the most beautiful cars in the world comes to one of the most beautiful villages,' jokes festival Director Marcus Cload. 'As a symbol of tradition, good taste, and having a good time its an ideal emblem for us.' 

Marcus is planning to build on last year’s highly successful Silver Anniversary event and as a well-known restaurateur it’s no surprise to see him put great quality local food and entertainment to the fore. Last year’s popular Deli returns and  people will be able to enjoy food and music in the marquee all day and late into the evening.

All the traditional favourites will be there: tea and coffee and country store in St Mary’s Church, arts and crafts stalls, hog roast, barbeque, bottle tombola, traditional games, bouncy castles, children’s activities, an art show and live music.

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Musical entertainment kicks off at noon with Bishop’s Stortford-based Herts and Soul Choir. Musical Organiser and former New York casting director Kate Free is putting her skills to good use: 'This year we have a really wonderful mix of musical styles in the local talent show, from classical to jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, and I’m particularly delighted at how many children are going to be involved.'

The event began life as a simple harvest festival and while it has gotten bigger and better year by year, attracting visitors from far and wide, it hasn’t forgotten its farming roots: a traditional harvest display, magnificent shire horses and the scarecrow competition are other much-loved reminders of the village’s agricultural past.

All money raised at the festival goes towards the upkeep of St Mary’s church and visitors are invited to explore the medieval building, with local history experts on hand to point out its secrets and explain its many unusual and historic features.

The fun will go on into the evening: there will be a disco (www.partytimeevents.co.uk) and Furneux Pelham’s own live music band on Saturday evening with a full bar and a curry and chilli con carne thrown in for good measure.

This year, most of the events will take place on Saturday between 10.30am and 4pm; Sunday will be a quieter affair with the ever popular Scrufts dog show, Mini-Pelham Olympics for the kids and a Sunday brunch in the marquee.

For a full programme of events please see: www.furneuxfestival.com

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