Farsley community urged to come together for a Jubilee ‘big weekend’

A busy Farsley Town Street at the 2015 Farsley Festival. Photograph copyright Farsley Festival

Words: John Baron

Farsley Festival organisers are appealing for the community to come together and support a ‘Big Weekend’ event to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year.

Organisers were speaking at the AGM of the Farsley Community Initiative, which is an umbrella organisation supporting a number of community projects in the village.

Fiona Killen, chair of the Farsley Festival organising committee, said the four-day bank holiday weekend is due to start on Thursday, 2 June 2022 and also proposed a Farsley version of the national Big Jubilee Lunch to be held on the Sunday.

She said the community had organised a Farsley Big Weekend event of celebrations back in 2016 and added:

“Having had to cancel the last two years of summer festivities due to the pandemic, the Farsley Festival team have decided that next year, we’d like to organise something special for the Farsley community that brings people, organisations and local businesses together for a weekend of celebrations, entertainment, and fun. We want to help raise spirits after a difficult couple of years and instill pride in our area.

“We’d like to promote a programme of events, organised by local businesses and organisations across Farsley and taking place on one day – this could be anything from entertainment – comedy, theatre, music etc to fairs, stalls, crafts, workshops, children’s activities or more!

“We’d like to see something that’s by and for the community, that builds on the success of the scarecrow Festival and annual Aston Martin event.

“We’d also like to run a very special festival on Hainsworth Park, which will include the national ‘Big Jubilee Lunch’ event.”

A number of local groups, organisations and businesses were at the AGM to pledge their support for the planned ‘Big Weekend’ event.

Fiona encouraged businesses, community groups and organisations and individuals could put on events, presentations, performances and entertainment – and that the celebration was open to everybody to take part.

If you would like to be involved in the Farsley Big Weekend, e-mail hello@farsleyfestival.co.uk.

AGM hears about a successful year for projects

Last night’s AGM heard about the work of Farsley Community Initiative’s four projects, and plans for the next 12 months.

farsley community orchard
Volunteers at Farsley Community Orchard earlier this year.

Farsley Community Orchard

The AGM heard it had been a productive year at Farsley Community Orchard, despite interruptions due to the pandemic. Activities included monthly visits to maintain the orchard, helping to collect and mulch over 250 Christmas trees and raise money for Farsley Festival at the same time.

The orchard had been particularly popular for visiting families during lockdown, and next year there are plans to plant more trees, and run an apple juicing event.

The community managed orchard, was established in March 2016 by a group of local volunteers.

hainsworth park
Plans: The existing play area at Hainsworth Park. Photo: Google

Friends of Hainsworth Park

Friends member Sarah Cropley said it had been a busy year, as the group progressed their plans for a new natural landscaped play area for physical and adventurous play next to the existing playpark.

More than £12,000 has been donated to an appeal locally – and Sarah confirmed work on the new play area, which marks the park’s centenary in 2021 – is due to start on site in January or February, and be completed by spring or early summer. More details on the Friends group here.

India express Farsley farmers market
India Express at Farsley Farmers Market

Farsley Farmers Market

Volunteer Christine told the AGM, which was held at Farsley Celtic’s The Citadel ground, that despite the pandemic, eight outdoor and five indoor markets had been held. These had attracted an average of 350 people.

She said the monthly market had received ‘tremendous support’ from stallholders.

More about the market, which meets in St John’s car park every fourth Saturday of the month from 10am, can be found here.

farsley festival christmas tree collectors
Farsley festival Christmas tree collectors. Photo: Farsley Festival

Farsley Festival

Kay said volunteers had not been idle this year, despite a lack of an event due to the pandemic for the second year running. The festival team has been fundraising and also managed to run an Easter trail in Westroyd Park.


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