THE sun shone as thousands of families enjoyed a great day of entertainment and activities as part of the 2018 We Love Tamworth event in the Castle Grounds.
Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team were delighted that a beautiful and warm day welcomed estimated crowds of around 6,000 people to the Castle Grounds on Saturday, September 1.
Visitors enjoyed fairground rides, a record number of stalls, games, inflatables, a dog show, music and coverage of the day from Radio Tamworth, a parade and the return of the popular Children’s Zone. Hundreds of children enjoyed face painting, inflatables, art activities and more than 50 dogs took part in the dog show.
This year’s event also had a couple of additional extras in the form of a special parade of rainbows, brownies and girl guides in celebration of 100 years of Girlguiding Tamworth, along with ‘Wheeze’, the organic musical organ, made from ‘found’ junk materials and a celebration of Tamworth’s rich heritage.
Jill Longhurst from Tamworth Girlguiding said: “We were delighted to be part of the We Love Tamworth event as we celebrated 100 years of Girlguiding in Tamworth. Over 180 of our members paraded in the town on Saturday. Rainbows, brownies, guides and rangers from 26 of our local units united to mark the success of our fabulous division.”
This year was also made extra special with the combined celebration of Tamworth’s rich heritage. The historic Town Hall was open offering visitors the rare opportunity to look around the Mayor’s parlour by the Mayor and Deputy. People were able to visit St Editha’s Church Tower and take in the amazing views or follow a guided tour.
The Almshouses also opened its doors to welcome visitors and costumed characters went on walkabout in the town dressed as medieval characters, Thomas Guy and a Peeler.
Bursting with sound, Wheeze – the organic musical organ, made from ‘found’ junk materials – entertained crowds and inspired audiences of all ages to make their own music and to play a solo or have a jam with friends and strangers.
During the day Wheeze went into live mode, featuring a series of short performances showing off this magnificent machine which made audiences want to have a go at making their own sounds.
The stalls arena was again run by Tamworth Lions Club, which has been supporting local charities and causes for 40 years. This year the event saw a record-breaking number of stalls, with more than 45 in attendance, made up of a range of charities, groups, businesses and local organisations.
Mark Kyte from Tamworth Lions said: “Saturday’s event was a great success with a mixture of more than 45 commercial and charity stalls. This year we also had several food stalls that proved very popular. Stall holders have expressed how well the day went and we would like to thank them for their support. Money collected from stall fees goes to our charity account. This money is used to support local, national and international good causes, with the emphasis on local.”
A spokesperson from Shoebox Theatre added: “We just wanted to say we had lots of footfall and had our best takings since the year of the Olympics. The organisation was excellent, so thanks to all.”
Visitors have since taken to social media to praise the We Love Tamworth event.
Speaking about Wheeze, Michelle Williams, said: “We loved this, it was brilliant!” Paula Da Silva was particularly impressed with the walkabout characters, saying: “These guys made my day. They were absolutely hilarious.”
Cllr John Chesworth, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Culture and Operational Services, said: “This was an amazing We Love Tamworth event. The Arts & Events team pulled out all the stops to create a fantastic and memorable day for families. As well as all the popular favourites, such as the Children’s Zone and the wide array of charity stalls and displays from local groups who all help to make a difference in Tamworth, this year’s event also had some brilliant new features.
“It was lovely to see the Girlguiding Tamworth parade, celebrating 100 years of girlguiding in Tamworth, and the celebration of the town’s rich heritage. The Town Hall, St Editha’s Tower and the Almshouses opened their doors during the day and invited people to take a free tour. Early indications are that incorporating the heritage event into We Love Tamworth helped to boost visitor numbers and this is something we are hoping to expand on in future years.
“Now in its sixth year, We Love Tamworth has become a popular and firm favourite among people of all ages. Each year the event grows bringing more local residents and visitors to our town. A huge thumbs up to everyone involved in organising another fantastic community event.”