September 24th, 2016

A harvest of celebration

Updated: 10:05 am, May 07, 2015

A COMMUNITY celebration brought the curtain down on Redditch’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

The final bandstand event of the year on Saturday (September 13) also had a harvest theme and marked the upcoming NHS Staff Appreciation Week.

There were eight diverse acts performing throughout the day as well as workshops, face painting and a range of stalls from community groups including Redditch Local History Society and the British Asian Women’s Group.

Those performing included sitar player Rauf Shah, singer Otis Irie and there was also songs and poetry from Shakira. Crowds were also treated to a free style dance performance from Sian Suitor of Fresh Feet dance company and there was a body combat demonstration and drum workshop to enjoy as well as the chance for the public to move their feet with the Olivia Dance School.

The bandstand was also converted to a tea house halfway through the afternoon as members of Headless Cross Brownies served up tea to Mayor Pat Witherspoon – recreating a similar event 30 years ago when they hosted then mayor Betty Passingham.

Tasty treats were also served up from the Caribbean, Asia, Poland, China and Britain.

The event also saw the £500 prize issued to a Winyates resident as part of the So Redditch 50 in 50 Challenge. The programme brought together a series of events to mark Redditch’s 50th anniversary as a new town and residents were urged to attend as many as possible and then enter the draw for a chance to win the cash.

Council leader Bill Hartnett, who helped open the event, said: “It was a magnificent afternoon, the best bandstand festival yet. It was four hours of fun packed excitement. It was a joy to see so many happy faces in the town and we ended the 50th anniversary celebrations on a high.”

Lyndsey Berry, from Redditch Town Centre Partnership which organised the 50th anniversary celebrations, added: “We are delighted with the success of the So Redditch Festival and have been encouraged by the amount of local people and community groups that embraced the celebrations. Our task now is to build on this success and the So Redditch pledge starting with the exciting plans for the town centre playzone.”

A number of stalls were on offer for the crowds to enjoy. (s)

The public got the chance to perform with the Olivia Dance School (s).

Otis Irie entertained the crowds (s).

Mayor Pat Witherspoon was treated to afternoon tea by Headless Cross Brownies. (s)

Sian Sutor from Fresh Feet Dance Company performed for the crowds (s).

A body combat demonstration took place around the bandstand. (s)