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Hundreds flock to Cathedral for this year's Hampshire Harvest Festival
CELEBRATIONS of autumn were well and truly underway at this year’s Hampshire Harvest Festival.
Winchester Cathedral and the Close welcomed dozens of stalls as hundreds flocked in from across the district to enjoy good food and varied entertainment.
This year’s two-day festivities saw a heavy horse-drawn wagon, a brass band, morris dancers, a petting zoo, crafts, farm vehicles and food stalls aplenty. A steel band also featured at the event for the first time on Sunday.
The centrepiece for this year’s event, however, was the scarecrow competition which saw over 59 entries from schools right across Hampshire, including Shepherds Down School in Compton, Prince’s Mead School in Itchen Valley, Itchen Abbas Primary School, Cherbourg Primary School in Eastleigh and St Winifred’s School in Southampton.
The colourfully designed scarecrows, shrewdly hidden in corners throughout the Cathedral, were on display to the public throughout Saturday and Sunday which also featured a specialist harvest-themed photography exhibition by London fashion photographer, Kevin Foord.
The bad weather held off for most of the weekend as children danced along to the sounds of the Gavioli fairground organ.
Brian Wells, owner of the once-derelict Gavioli, said: “We’re had an unusual amount of interest this year. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself, it’s all been fabulous.”
Laura Leavey from Basingstoke, a Winchester University graduate, returned to the city for the day with son Jack, celebrating his six-month birthday.
Ms Leavey said: “I love all the food markets. I saw it advertised on a parental forum and it’s all been really nice.”
Friends John Atkinson and Gavin Mortimer, both from Winchester, brought their children who enjoyed the pony rides.
Mr Atkinson said: “It’s great; the children have all had a great time.”
Mr Mortimer said: “It’s really fabulous, there’s loads of food. We particularly liked the burgers!”
Celebrations were drawn to a close with a special county harvest festival service on Sunday afternoon.
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