Bildeston’s B Natural music festival spread joy over the picturesque village last weekend, attracting hundreds of visitors.
The annual three-day event, which has grown in popularity since launching in 2011, featured 70 hours of live music in 18 venues around the village, from gardens and pubs to halls and coal sheds, even shady spots on the river bank.
Jocelyn Targett, one of the festival organisers, said: “It was terrific. We were lucky with the weather and had 600-700 people in the square at various times. It was absolutely packed to bursting.
“There’s a warm, loving feeling all over Bildeston at the moment.”
Adding to the buzz and excitement in the village is the recent completion of its skatepark, due to be officially opened next Saturday.
A survey carried out in 2008 identified a deficit in recreational facilities for teenagers in Bildeston.
The skatepark – realised through ‘genuine effort’ between the parish council, a working party of parents and young skaters and funding from Babergh District Council, sponsors and grant-aiding bodies – was the answer.
Andrew Guttridge, chairman of Bildeston Parish Council, said: “It was finished last month so the children have been enjoying it during the summer holidays and it’s been very well used and, by all accounts, very much appreciated.”
He describes Bildeston as having ‘a strong community’ which perhaps explains how, when other villages are struggling to retain even one pub, it has managed to retain three –the lively King’s Head, which brews its own B Natural beer, the Red Lion, which is under new management, and the award-winning Crown, which draws visitors from afar.
Bildeston’s village hall is another ‘terrific asset’ and one that is well-used, hosting a variety of community events.
Rebuilt after a fire in 2004, the hall is named after former resident Kate Chamberlin, whose bequest funded its restoration.
But did you know this?
The Crown was used as a plague hospital during the 1600s and has a reputation for being haunted.
In 2001, it was rated Britain’s scariest hotel in the Sunday Times.
London’s notorious East End gangster twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray regularly visited both The Crown and the Red Lion.
St Mary’s Magdalene Church is the resting place of Captain Edward Rotheram, a hero of the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.