The 50th anniversary Bedford Park Festival (1967-2017) ran from Friday June 9th (Summer Exhibition preview party) and 10th and 11th 2017 (Green Days weekend) until June 25th (Festival Mass and Open Gardens). The Festival is organised annually, and underwritten, by St Michael & All Angels on behalf of the community, with profits going to its nominated charities and the church.
You can see a history of the Festival, and reports of Festivals and Green Day before 2013, here; reports about some recent Festivals here; and winners of the 2016 competitions, including Win a Meal, here.
On Saturday June 11th 2016 we welcomed back celebrities who have opened the Festival over the years to open the 50th Green Days fete.
Sophie Ellis Bextor (right), Jeremy Vine, Phyllis Logan, Rageh Omaar, Sarah Greene, Susannah Simons, Gavin Campbell, Mary Nightingale, Alice Arnold and Fergal Keane were joined by others, including Lord Young of Cookham who, as Sir George Young, was the local MP for many years and regularly opened the event in the 1970s, ‘80s and early ‘90s.
Annie Briers, who came to Green Days regularly with her husband Richard and their daughters, was also there, as was Fr Kevin Morris, the vicar of St Michael & All Angels, which has organised the Festival for 50 years.
Sophie Ellis Bextor brought the day to a memorable close, singing a couple of songs on the Bandstand at 6pm, with Ed Harcourt on keys.
Hayley Mills, who opened the Green Day fete in 1981, sent a good-luck message which was read out at the opening ceremony along with those of several others.