Last updated Sunday 15 May 2022
We had a great start to this year’s Festival, which hopefully will only be minimally disrupted by Covid.
On Saturday the sun came out and so did residents to visit the Fete at the Old Church Rooms. Sian Lloyd, the TV journalist and presenter, opened the Fete with a brief description about our charity, Headway Cardiff and South East Wales. The BBQ and Bar were as busy as usual, and the stallholders were all happy. There was a Punch and Judy show for the little ones, an Aikido demonstration and a gallery showing all the entrants to the photographic competition.
In the evening we had our traditional first concert, organised by Cardiff West Rotary. This year the Castell Coch Choral Society were performing. The audience was smaller in than previous years, but the concert was really good, and the audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Sunday saw our History Society walk around Morganstown in the afternoon, followed in the evening by the Civic Service at Christ Church. This was attended by Mark Drakeford MS, Kevin Brennan our MP and the outgoing Lord Mayor, Rod McKerlich. This was followed by a Civic Reception organised by the Radyr and Morganstown Community Council with speeches by R&MCC, the RMA about the Festival and Rebecca Pearce from Headway talking about the work of the charity.
On Monday we had the Hats for Headway Parade from the War Memorial down to Lychgate Gardens. When we arrived, the Hats were judged by Charlotte Fletcher and prizes awarded. By the time we arrived, 12 tractors had arrived including one that was about twice as large as the others. Children were entertained sitting in some and pretending to drive them. The Bar and BBQ were in full swing, a common feature of RMA events, and the stalls were busy. The Dog Show then started with 10 classes and a massive entry of over 200 dogs. This is the largest amount ever seen at the show. The weather remained excellent and all that was left to do was to clear up and go home.
Wednesday evening there was a glorious smell coming from the OCR. It was the cookery event with Nerys Howell the local author and broadcaster. With her son talking about nutrition during the demonstrations and her daughter helping in the kitchen it was a real family affair. The samples provided were superb and there were lots of questions from the audience.
Thursday daytime saw a new event, Brain Games with Cardiff University, run at Radyr Primary School. This was well received by those attending. The evening saw the “live” return of the Tenovus Festival Quiz. A fun evening was had by all 6 teams, especially the winners of the wooden spoon. Thanks go to quizmaster Nick Holmes for the variety of his questions.
Friday heralded the first lunchtime concert and the audience were treated to a mixed programme from Charlotte Forfar (soprano), LLuis Calvert (Baritone), and Rhiannon Pritchard on piano.
The good weather continued on Saturday for the Concert in the Parc. The sun shone and the mood was excellent. The audience was as large as previous years and the BBQ and bar just about sold out. The barrels of real ale, sponsored by the Radyr Tap were empty before 4pm. The bands played on until 5.45pm when the clean up began and the marquees were taken down. Thanks go to the performers and helpers who all give their time free of charge and without whom the event could not take place.
On Sunday the good weather continued for our Open Gardens event. Visitors were treated to visits to 5 local gardens plus a trip to the Old Church Rooms for refreshments and a plant stall. The gardens were immaculate and a large amount of money was raised for our charity.
Friday lunchtime was the first of three musical events in three days. We were treated to a piano recital by Dominic Ciccutti, who won the coveted Beethoven Prize at the RWCMD. This event was planned several years ago but was delayed by Covid. It was worth waiting for.
Saturday evening’s event at Morganstown Village Hall was Novello and Son, with Rosamund Shelley taking the part of Clara Novello accompanied by Gavin Roberts. Rosamund sang a number of his songs covering her life and was very well received by the audience.
Whilst we hoped that Covid was not going to impact on the Festival, this was unfortunately not the case. We luckily had very good weather and all the outdoor events were extremely well attended. However, ticket sales for every indoor event were considerably lower than previous Festivals, usually with only 30-50% of previous number attending. Whether this was due to people still worrying about mixing indoors, or whether people have got out of the habit of attending events is unclear. Two events, the Vintage Tea Party and the AV evening have been postponed to later in the year, as they were not viable with the numbers expected to attend. We hope that this is just a blip for 2022, otherwise a number of our regular indoor events may not be possible in the future.