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Flower power for annual West Norfolk festival in 14th century setting

A church flower festival is still going strong “well into its fifth decade” with a department store theme this year.

St Mary’s 14th century village church at Old Hunstanton was packed with flowers for the festival which took place over three days at the end of July.

This year, the theme of the festival was entitled ‘St Mary’s Department Store’.

Churchwarden Chris Guest with the 'Lighting Display'
Churchwarden Chris Guest with the 'Lighting Display'

Organiser and churchwarden Chris Guest said: “We had different departments being represented so it was very varied and a good subject matter.

“We have got a very talented team of volunteer flower arrangers who are all local people. They are connected to the church as well.”

The festival raised funds for the restoration of the church as well as the village hall in Old Hunstanton.

Marie Jarvis with a 'fun in the sun' display, created by members of the Playchurch..
Marie Jarvis with a 'fun in the sun' display, created by members of the Playchurch..

“We raised a good amount and everyone was very generous,” Mr Guest said.

“We do not know the full amount raised yet but it is very comparable with previous years.”

As well as the flower festival, an “old fashioned village fete” took place in the gardens throughout the three days.

Barbara York with her 'Fabric' display
Barbara York with her 'Fabric' display

Alongside stalls, a fun dog show was held on the Sunday with visitors able to move between the flower festival and the fete.

Cream teas and lunch were served up for those in attendance.

“People flocked in and the weather was very useful for us,” Mr Guest added.

“The Friday was not too hot as it was overcast. There were then plenty of visitors over the weekend looking for a good alternative to going on the beach.

“A lot of people get involved in the festival and it’s one of the great things between the church and the town.

“The church is very much part of the community of Old Hunstanton.

“The flowers in the church were said to be the best visitors have seen yet.”

There were over 30 flower arrangements in the church for the festival.

And live music was also performed by Shoo the Moon on the Saturday of the festival.

A hog roast was served up on the Saturday as well.

Posting on the festival’s Facebook page, a spokeswoman said: “The catering team were definitely the A team.

“Great lunches, teas and cakes. Another successful Flower Festival and Fete.”

The event will be running again next year on the last weekend of July in what is becoming a popular date on the calendar for residents and holidaymakers alike.

It will be the 46th year of the festival in 2020.

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