2019 Bollington Festival to mark 150th railway anniversary

Bollington Festival parade 2009

Bollington Festival parade 2009 - Credit: not Archant

Bollington festival returns this month, proving community spirit is alive and well in the village.

Bollington Festival chairman Jon Beck

Bollington Festival chairman Jon Beck - Credit: not Archant

The festival now approaching Bollington is the 2019 railway special, bringing thousands of people into the village.

The festival has been held every four to seven years since it was launched in the 1960s – the last one was in 2014 – and this month the festival will mark the 150th anniversary of the railway coming to Bollington.

Festival chairman Jon Beck said: ‘It felt like we’d had a reasonable gap since the last one and the anniversary of the opening Bollington station on the Marple to Macclesfield line seemed a suitable theme.

‘We’ll have lots of events related to the railway – history days, exhibitions, talks and more – but we’ll also have an awful lot of things going on that aren’t on that theme.

Bollington Festival programme 1964

Bollington Festival programme 1964 - Credit: not Archant

‘Over the years the festival has given rise to many community groups in Bollington, such as the Festival Players amateur dramatic group and the light opera group, as well as the beer festival and Sci-bar, a series of monthly meetings in the pub at which eminent scientists have spoken and taken questions.’

More than 100 events will be held from May 10-27 on the themes of art, science, drama, dance, music, comedy and sport. Local groups will share the bill with big names including guest speakers Kate Humble and Nick Robinson

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‘We believe this is the biggest volunteer-run, not-for-profit festival in the UK,’ Jon added. ‘We sold more than 10,000 tickets for events at the last festival and we’re on track for about that number again, with people from as far afield as Cornwall and Devon having bought tickets.’

The festival was created in 1964 when village doctor Dr John Coope feared community spirit in Bollington was unwell and prescribed a festival as a possible cure and there was a remarkable recovery.

This month’s event – the first since the festival was given charitable status – has been at least two years in the planning and Jon added: ‘With so many events on the programme there will be lots of highlights but I’m particularly looking forward to the parade, it’s a massive bringing together of the community. It seems like one half of the village is out watching the other half walk by. It’s a wonderful celebration of the village and the community – exactly what Dr Coope hoped it would be.’

For more information about the festival go online to bollingtonfestival.org.uk