Golden weekend for Stainsby Festival but challenging times ahead

Ann Syrett cuts the celebration cake at Stainsby Festival's 50th celebration.
Ann Syrett cuts the celebration cake at Stainsby Festival's 50th celebration.

A golden RAF plane flew above the field three times, tipping its wings in a farewell salute as it zoomed off across the azure blue sky.

It took the same flightpath as a Spitfire which delighted crowds at Stainsby Festival the previous afternoon.

This very special sight was a highlight of the festival’s 50th anniversary celebration at Brunts Farm, Stainsby, this afternoon (Sunday).

A birthday cake in the shape of a marquee was cut by Ann Syrett, who, together with Bob Walker, had been key to getting the festival up and running half a century ago.

She said: “It’s a great festival and quite unique. It depends on the goodwill and energy of volunteers and that has got to be celebrated.”

Revellers basked in golden sunshine as temperatures reached the high 20s on the field of dreams.

Earlier in the afternoon, a warning note was sounded about the future of the festival in the light of the HS2 high-speed rail plan.

Dr Hugh Ellis from the Town and Country Planning Association said that the line would be 250 metres from the festival’s bar tent. He said: “HS2 will probably mean the end of this festival.”

The railway would be built through an Act of Parliament. Dr Ellis, who is the festival’s vice-chairman said: “I suggest every individual here petitions Parliament.

“We have nothing to lose by standing out against them. I have not seen another artistic event affected by infrastructure quite as we are.”

Dr Ellis said that it would have been more sensible to invest in the existing infrastructure rather than build a new railway,

He suggested that the Great Central Railway, less than a mile and a quarter away in Holmewood which was shut in 1968 on the grounds that it wasn’t needed, would have done the job of HS2.