Five things to do this weekend (August 16-17)

The Battle Proms

The Battle Proms - Credit: Archant

If you have a worryingly empty diary for this weekend, why not take the opportunity to explore the Cotswolds? Here are five recommendations for what to get up to, from us to you.

Glad All Over: Remembering 1964, Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection

Glad All Over: Remembering 1964, Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection - Credit: Archant

Ragley Battle Proms

Ragley Hall, Warwickshire

August 16

Guests can enjoy a blend of musical talent, expert displays and pyrotechnics this Saturday at Ragley Hall’s Battle Proms.

The annual event starts from 4.30pm when guests can wander around the traditional fairground stalls and visit the re-enactors at their encampment. This year the popular mounted skill-at-arms display by an expert cavalry troop will be carried out in WW1 regalia to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, one of many elements in the 2014 programme that will pay homage to this important historical anniversary.

At 6:30pm ‘The Rockabellas’ will take to the stage hoping to get everyone into the party spirit. The gunners of the English Field Artillery Company will herald the start of the musical programme at 7:25pm with a volley of shots.

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The music begins at 7.30pm with classical favourites performed by the New English Concert Orchestra, conducted by Douglas Coombes and hosted by BBC presenter Pam Rhodes. Carolyn Grace in the legendary Grace Spitfire will be performing a carefully choreographed aerial display in accompaniment to the concert’s opening piece. The ground will shake for Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with live cannon fire, serving as a pyrotechnical warm-up to the celebratory piece of music that gives the Battle Proms its name: Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory, more commonly known as the ‘Battle Symphony’, performed with a staggering 193 cannons, musket fire and fireworks.

The evening ends around 10pm with the traditional sing-along, flag-waving proms finale, including Jerusalem, Rule Britannia, God Save the Queen and Land of Hope and Glory, culminating in a firework spectacular.

Emma Maguire, Business Development Manager at Ragley said: “Ragley is delighted to be the setting for another popular and nostalgic Battle Proms concert. With our lakeside setting, Ragley has a stunning and breath-taking location. The wonderful orchestral music, cavalry displays and cannon fire come together to create a truly unique event culminating in an amazing fireworks display. I would strongly urge guests to book their tickets early and take advantage of some fantastic savings with our early bird offer!”

For more information and to book tickets, visit:

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Glad All Over: Remembering 1964

Cotswold Motoring Museum & Toy Collection, Bourton-on-the-Water

August 16-17

The home of the anthropomorphic ‘Chummy’ convertable, Brum, will play host to a special exhibition this weekend, taking a nostalgic look back to 1964. On display will be the 1964 Zephyr and two 1964 Royal Enfield motorcycles, as well as photographs, posters and songs from the iconic year.

Refreshments will be available, as well as games, quizzes and prizes. Visitors can enjoy 1960s music and fashion, as well as juggling, hoopla, a raffle and more.

Once the buzz of the 60s has run flat, outside the Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water there are plenty of other attractions including The Model Village and Dragonfly Maze to make the trip something to remember.

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Oxfordshire Chilli Festival

Abingdon on Thames

August 16

Oxfordshire’s Chilli Festival opens on Saturday at its venue in Abingdon on Thames. There will be chilli sauces, plants, seeds, a cook-off and an eating competition, as well as music from Mark Morriss and Tom Hingley Band. So if you want to put your taste-buds to the taste and sample some of the hottest peppers around this weekend, this festival should do the trick.

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The Cotswolds Decorative Antiques & Fine Art Fair

Westonbirt School

August 15-18

Those looking for a bargain should head to Westonbirt School this weekend for the Cotswolds Decorative Antiques and Fine Art Fair, near Tetbury. The event, which takes place at the school near Tetbury, more than forty-five specialist dealers selling everything from decorative accessories, including 19th and 20th century furniture, to ceramics, glass, paintings, jewellery, silver and more.

For more information, visit:

English National Sheepdog Trials

Broadfield Farms Estate, Northleach

August 15-17

The English National is the most prestigious event in the UK sheepdog trialling calendar and attracts national and international interest. The top 150 qualifying dogs and their handlers compete for places in the team to compete at this year’s International Trials.

There will be a campsite and ‘glamping’ village adjacent to the trial field and, as well as the International Sheepdog Society marquee, there will be a large catering marquee, where the general public can enjoy browsing the diverse selection of quality craft and artisan food stands. Normal attendance for a National is anything up to 3000 people on each of the three days and there is plenty of parking available for all.

Trials start at 7.30am and usually carry on until at least 6pm (dependent on re-runs, disqualifications, etc)

Admission: £5 - under 14s free

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