The Mechanics’ Institution Trust’s annual Children’s Fete is ‘on’ for this Saturday, 30th June.

Swindon’s oldest summer festival which established in 1866, will once again fill the GWR Park in Faringdon Road with all the fun of the fair. The fair will open at midday and will be a day full of music, performances and rides, including a Victorian Carousel, finishing at 8pm.

The event is a community celebration of Swindon’s culture and heritage, with many local performers, artists and others working together to produce it. Although the event focuses on and celebrates children and young people, it’s also an event for all ages and the whole town to enjoy with attendance being free.

Trust Organisers Tom Falding and Hannah Parry, with support from a fantastic new event committee, have put on a full scale spectacle in only 6 weeks.  Tom says, “It was very touch-and-go as to whether the event could go ahead this year, but a huge thanks goes to the South Swindon Parish Council for funding the event and making it possible”.

Hannah adds, “The most gratifying aspect has been the response of 25 volunteers who have stepped forward to steward the event in the past week or so, and made sure everyone has a great time”.

The Mayor of Swindon will open the event and the park will be filled with circus, sports, arts, crafts, food and other fun.

Performances lined up for the event include Crowdys School Choir, Swindon Hot Steppers, Jacob Hiho and Daring Flanagan’s Street Show, Global Group of Unity, Croft Primary School Choir, Britannia Majorettes, Cowshed Ceilidh Collective, The Real Cheesemakers, Luke De-Sciscio, The Tribe, David Corrigan of Astral Ponies and Hooch.

At the Mechanics’ Trust Info Tent you will be able to find out more about the Trust’s wider work and take part in consultations.

There are plans for a Great War memorial to be unveiled in November, and people can also see and comment on ideas for that, which is a project of the South Swindon Parish Council. The new Parish has provided the extra funds necessary to make sure The Children’s Fete carried on this year.

Visitors should also keep an ear out for a couple of special announcements concerning the Mechanics’ Institution itself!

Hannah says, “The GWR Park is my favourite place in Swindon, not only does it hold lots of history in its own right, but from the centre of the field you can see most of the major landmarks from around Swindon”.

It is 15 years since the Mechanics’ Trust recreated this traditional highlight of Swindon’s summer season. They based the layout and features upon the memories of residents who recalled the 1939 event. The Trust would like to hear from anyone who still has memories of the original event or the Mechanics’ Institute to form part of a research project this summer.

The organisers have asked that people park in Bristol Street car park or the town centre car parks, or to walk, cycle or take the bus, as there is no parking near the GWR Park on the day. This is so that people coming along on foot can have pleasant and safe access.  They also ask that attendees bring a refillable water bottle and don’t forget to bring suncream!

The Trust aims to create a rolling fund so that by November each year plans can be firmly laid for the following summer. To achieve this, they hope that local businesses and donors will consider coming forward to reliably secure this original Swindon event for future generations. To contact the Trust regarding sponsorship, please email sponsorship@mechanics-trust.org.uk

The Trust is also keen to hear from people who would like to contribute to future events. To do so, email thechildrensfete@mechanics-trust.org.uk

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