Rain fails to dampen spirits at Richmond MayFest

Richmond Mayfest takes place in the town with a maypole dancing session taking place at Richmond Castle. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

Rain definitely did not stop play at this year’s Richmond MayFest.

Despite the weather a great time was had by all at the annual celebration of traditional and historical music, dance and storytelling.

Manic violinist Sid Bowfin got everything off to a cracking start in the Market Place on Saturday, drawing crowds with his hilarious antics, and pleasing one little girl with a virtuosic rendition of The Wheels On The Bus!

Meanwhile at Richmond Castle there was maypole dancing, and the varied roster of bands – including medieval groove from Tritor.

Indoors, the musical coffee morning was popular, with music from John Hunter and others, and it was succeeded by an afternoon of musical delights culminating with the Richmondshire Orchestra.

Both Saturday concerts for the melodious folk sounds of Janice Burns and Jon Doran, or for Richmondshire Choral Society’s Elijah were packed

The rain really came down on Sunday morning, but it didn’t stop the eight Morris sides in Richmond for their Day of Dance.

Local dance schools showed off their steps, alongside the local branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society amongst many.

Another hit of the day was the Drum Circle with Rhythm Calls, which saw participants from age 8 to 80 get into their drumming groove, and in the evening the MayFest Ceilidh made a triumphant return with Blind Panic Ceilidh Band leading the dances.

As the sun finally came out, Monday was all about storytelling. In the Market Place, the ever-popular Mr Punch got children screaming with laughter, as did the ridiculous antics of The Silly History Boys.

Local storytellers Charlie Grumbley and Rhoda Fraser entertained folks of all ages, and there was even Shakespeare at the Castle from the Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society, while Richmond-based medieval minstrels Trouvere entertained with musical retellings of medieval legends.

All weekend, children had been getting crafty with the MayFest crafts team and the weekend concluded with a chance for them to show off their creations in the MayFest Parade, led by the stalwart Ran Tanners, who had entertained people throughout the weekend with their jolly folk sounds.

Planning now begins for next year’s Richmond MayFest, on May 4-6 2024.

If anyone has any feedback or suggestions they are invited to get in touch with the team at richmondmayfest@gmail.com 


1 Comment

  1. I miss Richmond so much and the people and their warmth and I just wish I could return and make it my home again. But like anywhere we get outbid and are forced to move on to start all over again.
    I miss the town hall pub and their amazing food as they always made myself and my dogs so welcome. But I try to keep up to date on the Richmondshire today website to see what’s going on and catch up with local news etc. Hopefully the Solo navigator will return one day and put down roots in the place I love so well.

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