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Harburn Village Hall - Festival 2016

When Joe and Iain rode into town sometime in the last couple of years, they looked round, liked what they saw and set about shaking it up a bit. The Festival received the full treatment: some of the alterations were forced on the event (Broadshaw, for various reasons, could no longer be a venue) and other alterations came from barnstorming sessions that Joe dragooned members of the Community into attending.
NNNNUnmissable pink tents lured the punters, whilst some thngs never change

From these meetings (and from the enthuisiasms of the two Head Honchos) came various other improvements: The centre of attractions became, very much, George Duncan's field by the Hall; fantastic, catchy, clear and imposing publicity banners appeared prior to the enterainment; magnificently vulgar pink tents sprouted; more signage ushered visitors from attraction to attraction; a marked increase in entries to the Fun Run was seen as were new barbecue equipment and a mega-popular addition to the band scene: much lauded and applauded RED EYE ( see photo below).
NNNNA new barbecue has appeared whilst, as I said, some things never change

All that was needed was a sunny day. It wasn't provided but Joe and Iain weren't going to be put off by a few clouds and a spit and spot or two. Jobs had been allocated, a rota had been drawn up and do you know, for the most part , astoundingly, this rota was followed!

On this page please find photos of the highly successful and much-enjoyed Harburn Festival 2016 also some words from involved Harburnians.

Heidi I writes: A wee bit on the road art again.... Is it ok that I draw Donald Trump? Yep that was the first request at this year's Harburn Festival Road Art. Another fantastic year with loads of colourful paintings, laughter and paint flying everywhere! Including an attempt to paint the bus! Oops. 
Jennie T continues: As a veteran Harburn resident this was my first attendance at the Festival. I am usually confined to Broadshaw, kept in the attic! Only allowed out under cover of darkness.

Well, what a lovely experience to amble between manning ( or should I say womening) a stall from event to event. The cloud cover hardly seem to matter and as far as I could see it affected no one's enjoyment. Circulation between 'things to do' was slow as meeting and chatting to friends and neighbours, and indeed making new friends , punctuated progress around the village.

I was particularly impressed with the Duck Race as, observed from Annets Cross Bridge, the water was very low and the flotilla made its dignified way to the finishing line/net as a lively commentary generated the necessary excitement to see whose duck won!
Eventually my legs gave out and I returned home full of enthusiasm for local activities and admiring of all the hard work that made it such a successful day

Ann on the hard sell whilst Matthew MacCaulay demonstrates a more casual technique
Allan McL offers a View from the Burger Bar. The big question on my mind was would the GHF survive the remodelling in this its first running of the post Broadshaw era? The new "Ingleston-esque" type layout of an Avenue of tents and stalls along the length of the Festival field was a great success. The layout encouraged folks to wander from the music tent, to the Dog Show, to the Schools' Art, to the Obstacle Course, to the Tractors.

The splendid new (and colourful) tents added to the attraction and ambiance of the day. The music too is worthy of a special mention, all sessions were first class -- especially the final "rock" group who were excepional. Glastonbury watch out. Perhaps a Harburn Music Event in the Field next year??? Mmmmmmm.
RED EYE - new attraction, mega-popular. Best ever turn out for Fun Run

The Harburn 5,000 [5K] starting and finishing in the Avenue again featured the field as the centre on the Festival. It might be worthwhile next year bringing more of the attractions to the field as a central point. Turning the Hall into a 'stall free' Tea Room was an immense success as more patrons could be accommodated with much more space than hitherto. They were therefore much more able to enjoy their food in greater comfort. Entry to the Hall was gained by way of the Burger Stall where guest servers Lindsay and Theresa excelled themselves rotating more than 200 burgers (cheese and / or onions optional).

The signage in and around the Festival site was first class: clear; easy to read and understand. As ever the "staff" did a grand job .... AND AMAZINGLY .... some of us had some free time scheduled into our duties by our Festival mastermind Joe Ross. Congrats and thanks to Joe and his sidekick Iain [two comparatively new kids on the Harburn Block] for delivering an excellent new Festival in a new format. Here's to 2017!!!!

Joe and Ian - 'comparatively new kids on the block'

Isobel reflects on a most enjoyable Festival.............
It seems ages since the Festival.  But I think this year for me was the most enjoyable one although it did have some worrying moments before the day.
Persuading schools to enter artwork in the School Art Exhibition was a challenge but in the end 9 schools entered work completed by a total of 179 pupils.
Quite a few folk who’d volunteered to help months before the event discovered nearer   the day of the Festival that for various reasons (mainly holidays) they were unable to do so but others were able to fill the vacancies.

Trying to decide how much Gillespie’s ice cream to order was as usual a problem. In the end I decided on the same amount as last year. The weather might have been really hot and in any case I knew it wouldn’t go to waste as some of us can’t resist buying the surplus.
On the Friday I went with David to collect the minibus (Guy should have been going but the tents were taking longer to put up than anticipated). After starting the bus I discovered it needed a ‘thing’ to stop the noise and every time it started up this ‘thing’ had to be used.  Then driving out the gates I found the speedometer wasn’t working and lights were flashing on the dashboard. To be on the safe side we returned to the garage only to be told it was fine and I must admit that after I’d got used to the flashing lights and no speedometer it was fine.

Lovely gardens at Sawmill - Iain refuses an offer of Euros for a duck race entry

I did the first bus run on Saturday morning and was actually stopped on the way down by people anxious to make sure they got on. After collecting the ice cream I did the first pick up at the Co op bus stop and was amazed at the number of passengers waiting.
Having loaded as many as possible on to the bus we arrived at the Hall to organise the opening of the Festival.
Ann Rennie said a few words and Matthew MacCaulay from Stoneyburn Primary, the winner of the School’s Art Competition, made sure everyone knew it had begun by ringing the bell.
After bus duty I managed a quick look around at Sawmill, enjoyed lunch with my husband and had a look around the field before going on duty at the Rural baking stall where I had a great time blethering to folk I hadn’t seen in ages as well as selling the cakes.
The tidying up of the Hall and kitchen in preparation for the Post Festival meal didn’t take too long as there were quite a few helpers.
The Post Festival meal was as usual first class and clearing up the glasses etc and washing the Hall floor on Sunday morning wasn’t too onerous although I did miss out on going to church.
I’m already looking forward to next year's Festival!
Heidi kindly sent a couple more snaps of the punters thoroughly enjoying the Festival Road Art

Just as this page was about to be placed on line, we received a welcome addendum from Pam the Money. She writes:

Change is not without inconvenience, even from worse to better (Richard Hooker 1554-1600)

2016 will go down as a year when so much changed: Brexit, Prime Minister, Labour Shadow Cabinet, England Football Manager and the Grand Harburn Festival. Could it be that Broadshaw’s exit as a venue (Fexit perhaps?) was the first domino to topple, leading to a whole set of unanticipated consequences?
Well perhaps not – but it is certainly been a time of change for the Festival and one that has not been without its own share of angst. However, I believe that it would be fair to say that we have come through the difficult times to deliver a different but effective Festival. We have some spiffy new tents and signage and a new operations team who have ‘persuaded’ us to be more organised and whilst many were stunned by the scale of the list of helpers (arranged both by person and/or activity no less!), the results allowed many locals to actually experience some of the Festival for the first time rather than just deliver it. It is to be hoped that our new dynamic duo of Joe Ross and Iain Gillespie will continue with this good work in the future ( I am not sure which one is Batman and which is Robin but I hope never to see either of them in tights!).
The loss of Broadshaw as a venue is of course one of the most notable changes to the Festival and great thanks must be given to all of the residents there for their hard work and major contribution over many years. It is not the end of the Art Show however as discussions are underway to resurrect it in a new venue (the Golf Club) later this year and more details will be made available as soon as possible.
All in all, although the weather decided to break just before the Festival, the people who did come seemed to have a good time and we raised a decent amount of money to help with the continued running of the Hall. So to quote William Shakespeare: All’s well that ends well.

I always get the last word!

Just arrived in the Office, a contribution from Morag entitled................View from the Kitchen

“Food all Day” is a challenge, so all hands on deck was the order of the day.  The first task to split and butter 300 rolls  (this included those destined for the burgher stall) .  Helen McDonald is well practised in the art and she and Pauline soon had the task completed.  Mary ensured a constant supply of freshly made tea and coffee.    Demand for bacon rolls was such that some people had to wait 5 mins for theirs!!  Joanna and Louise manning  the serving hatch remained unflappable.
Bowls of soup and filled rolls joined a myriad of scones, pancakes and luscious cakes served to our visitors.
Sandra’s meringues with cream and strawberry simply flew off the counter but supplies continued from what seemed to be a bottomless tin.
Everyone who had signed up for a tour of duty simply worked their socks off and ensured the smooth running of the operation.  Thanks are due to all concerned.  Well done!!

Sandra writes, having seen Morag's comments, Morag passed on her excellent Festival Kitchen report but I feel Morag must be given a special mention for the  way she kept up with the demand for the bacon rolls. They were sold out by 12 pm. I am sure we could have sold twice as many.