Putting on the Bournville Village Festival

Bournville Village Festival comes round every year to local revellers delight. Old ball games, the helterskelter, the crowning of the Bournville Village queen and the maypole. It is a much-loved festival which celebrates unique traditions in our little village.

But putting on the festival each year is a mammoth effort – taken on by the voluntary members of Bournville Village Council. Here we look at the people involved and what organisers are planning for next year.

Bournville Maypole: Handing Over

Photo: Pete Ashton

Chairman of Bournville Village Council Bill Rice explained why the festival remains an important event in our village calender. He said:
“Our pleasure is your pleasure. As long as everybody has a good day, the kids are smiling and the fireworks go off, we are happy. The festival goes from strength to strength each year.”

Last year the festival drew in a profit of £8,455, a whopping improvemet on the previous year’s £199. Bournville Village Council treasurer, Ian Rider, said this was completely down to the sunny weather.The festival is supported by Bournville Village Trust, Birmingham City Council , Cadburys and local emergency services. Attractions at the festival include the maypole, the flower and craft show.

The Maypole

Pauline Rice has been organising and teaching the maypole to girls from Bournville for 26 years. A Bournville queen herself in 1965, Pauline is passing on the maypole duties to another member of the council, Sue Walsh, who has helped alongside Pauline for many years. Here she speaks about running the maypole, and why it is still so important for girls in the area to take part.

The Flower Show

Terry Davies has been running the flower show, which began in 1889, for many years after taking over from his father. He told the public at Bournville Village Council’s annual meeting that this year the marquees would be bigger and a different shape.

Last year, there were 260 entrants to the show, including 137 different classes of flower. Terry said: “The idea is to entertain people and to show how much fun it is.” The show runs next to strawberries and cream sold by the local churches, and introduced in recent years was a bassoon and an accordion band to play music while visitors weave in and out of the flower stands. When the marquees are emptied a local band will use the space this year to put on a small performance at the end of the festival.

The Craft Market

Making jewelry, teddy bears, cards and crafts is also another part of the Bournville Village Festival. The craft marquees offer a platform for those in the local area and further afield to share their craft. This June the craft market organiser – Tracey Kent – hopes to fit 20-25 tables in the marquee to get more ‘crafters’ inside. She said: “If you know anyone who might like to be involved then get in touch. It is not necessarily just for those who live in Bournville as we are trying to open it up to the wider community.

Bournville Village Festival will be running next year on Saturday 26 June 2010 from 2.00pm-10.30pm on the Cadbury’s Recreation Ground. Those wishing to know more or get involved should email maypole@bournvillevillagecouncil.org.uk or festival@bournvillevillagecouncil.org.uk or info@bournvillevillagecouncil.org.uk or visit their website http://www.bournvillefestival.org.uk/

Bournville Maypole: The Queen's Basket

Maypole girls weave the queen's basket. Photo: Pete Ashton

8 comments on “Putting on the Bournville Village Festival

  1. Pingback: New members join Bournville Village Council | Bournville Village

  2. The Festival is also supported by Foresters Roman Way.

    The gates open for the Festival at 2pm not 2-30pm as shown in this feature.

  3. dear sir/madam

    i had a craft/jewellery stall 2 years ago inside the bournville trust tent and i would love to be able to do this again, could you please forward details as how i apply for a stall at the bournville festival for next years event and costs

    with kindest regards

    louise robertson

  4. I am interested if finding the whereabouts of June Davies who went to Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School circa 1965. She lived opposite the Green (I think) at the back of the school. She was my best friend at the school.

  5. Hi Pamela,

    I think you might be best contacting the school and seeing if they have the records. Of course she may see this blog and respond to you – but it’s a long shot.

    All the best,


  6. Hello everyone,

    It has been around four years since I last visited the festival, however I have always remebered the ones I did go to fondly. Now as a Final Year Product Design university student, I have taken some inspiration from this event for my final project. I hope to re-invent the image of event seating, by removing the ‘scaffolding’ design that is currently used by many events, and I am wondering if there is an actual demand for an item like this at an event such as this one.
    The long and short of this, would the event planners ever ponder hiring seating? Either for the Maypole preformance, or as a method of allowing people to get off of their feet for a while?
    Any answers would be appreciated, and I apologise for the vauge-ness of the details. I’m still currently in the research phase.
    Thanks All,
    Kevin Walsh