September 27th, 2016

PM support for Asparagus Festival

Updated: 5:12 pm, May 06, 2015

EVESHAM’S iconic Asparagus Festival received backing from the Prime Minister as the annual festival kicked off.

Morris dancing, traditional folk music, classic cars and famous names were on the menu for the official launch for this year’s event on Wednesday (April 23).

A large gathering of people flocked to the The Fleece Inn in Bretforton on Wednesday (April 23) as the festival, which brought £1.6million into the local economy last year, began in style with Evesham’s famous vegetable taking centre stage on St

George’s Day.

The famous Gras took centre stage and for the first time a rally of classic cars left the Bretforton pub on a tour which concluded at Broadway Tower.

And in his St George’s Day message, Prime Minister David Cameron said a range of events ‘from the archaic to the eccentric’ were taking place.

“In Worcestershire, an annual asparagus run to welcome the annual harvest is being held.” he said.

Famous names there to mark the start of the festival, which takes place until June 21, included BBC Antiques Roadshow star Henry Sandon and Trevor Harrison who voices the role of Eddie Grundy in BBC radio series The Archers.

Other personalities also attended the occasion including Gus the Asparagus Man and Asparamancer Jemima Packington.

Now in its seventh year, the festival has grown bigger and better each year. And festival organiser Angela Tidmarsh from Wychavon District Council told the Observer she hoped the festival would continue to deliver success.

“It’s great to start our seventh year.” she said. “We’ve worked hard and put a lot of preparation into getting everything ready for St George’s Day.

“We’ve had a lovely start here, everybody is having a good time and we have had lots of cars to take part in our first ever treasure hunt.

“This area does not have major tourist attractions such as Alton Towers and Legoland but we do have our horticulture and we play to our strengths so we create events which celebrate that.

“We’ve got some new events including the AsparaWriting Festival which is looking to be a huge success and other activities.

We provide the umbrella and are encouraging as many people as possible to take part.”

As well as hosting the event, The Fleece Inn landlord Nigel Smith also got involved in the proceedings taking part in morris dancing.

“It’s great to once again to host this brilliant event and see lots of people come together with a smile on their face.” he added.

“It seems to get more fun and wackier each year.”

Eleanor Rowley, 11, watches the proceedings. 1714022MMR2

The Archers star Trevor Harrison greets the crowd and delivers an asparagus themed hymn. 1714022MMR3

Ellie-Mae, eight, and Cera, five, at the launch. 1714022MMR5

Lots of dancing took place as the British Asparagus Festival got underway. Photos by Marcus Mingins 1714022MMR1 Order these pictures online at www.buyphotos247.com

Asparamancer Jemima Packington with Jane Bremer at the launch. 1714022MMR6

Paul and Jackie Lisney prepare to set off to broadway Tower in one of the classic cars. 1714022MMR7

The cars leave The Fleece Inn to take part in the treasure hunt. 1714022MMR8

Broadway Tower was the scene for the second part of the launch event for the British Asparagus Festival. (s)

Gus and co were still busy celebrating in Broadway. (s)

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