Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Forest Gate Festival - Sat 10th July 2010

This is the 11th year that the Forest Gate Festival has been running and it's just as popular as ever - as the number of stall holders and turnout of visitors proved.

I've always loved this particular Festival and though I'm not a resident of Forest Gate (I'm only a couple of towns away) this is one festival I like to attend regularly as a stall holder.

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (3)

My stall selling a range of handcrafted items

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (7)

altered CD's, decorative tin cans, mosaics

The Festival is held on Osborne Road, a really lovely tree lined street with Victorian terrace houses, many with their original wrought iron and glass fronted porches and sash windows. The road is blocked to traffic for the whole day and we stall holders set up our tables on the pavement outside designated houses.

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (18)

Forest Gate Festival

I've learnt from previous years to always come prepared for rain or shine, so many of us had gazebos or awnings over our tables in the event of rain, or as in today's case, the scorching heat of the sun. The weather was absolutely beautiful and the temperature was in the 30's. Perfect Festival weather with plenty of food and drinks available (by drinks I mean ice cold and totally alcohol free of course!)

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (8)

handbound notebooks & journals

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (9)

handbound albums and greeting cards

On my table I was selling a whole range of my handcrafted items such as mosaics, hand bound books, decorative tin cans, altered CD's, ceramic brooches, stampboard brooches and greeting cards. The only thing on my stall not handmade by myself were the Indian embroidered and beaded handbags.

As in the past couple of years this year's Festival was a plastic bag free zone and the organizers were handing out bundles of free hessian bags to all the stall holders to give out to their customers - such a good idea!

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (10)

a variety of mosaics

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (11)

Indian embroidered & beaded handbags

I love the atmosphere of this Festival - there's a real sense of community spirit and not only can you feel it but you can see it - in the smiles, helpfulness, generosity and friendliness of the stall holders and visitors alike :-)

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (14)

Forest Gate Festival just starting

There were plenty of activities happening for everyone - face painting and tower climbing for children, henna painting, make and take tables, music, workshops and street entertainers. Though my only criticism was there wasn't such a variety of street entertainers this year as there has been in the past. That said, the entertainment that was there was brilliant.

The stilt walkers were so funny - especially the Tea Lady who'd come down the street pushing her musical tea trolley. She'd be chatting to you one minute and then would break out into a a little song and dance the next and would get you to join in - she was amazing :-)

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (13)

"how about a nice cuppa tea?" asked the stilt walking Tea Lady

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival

oooh aargh me hearties! stilt walking pirates in their boat

There were also a group of ladies performing some belly dancing and hoop dancing.

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (19)

Belly dancing

One of the most entertaining acts was a group of African men who performed the most amazing and energetic acrobatic routine. They had such balance and skill in their act. One of them was a contortionist and could roll himself up into a ball and the others would pick him up and put him into an ordinary metal bowl.

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (21)

Amazing African Acrobats

They would stand on each others head and then leap about doing somersaults and back flips and would juggle hats onto their heads and juggle bats. Their act would include audience participation, which would make it even funnier and they would combine it with a comedy routine - all this with no speaking! The audience were just spellbound and gasping at some of their breathtaking stunts - truly incredible!

10.07.10-Forest Gate Festival (24)

and for my next trick.....

The Festival started at 11am and continued till 6pm, when everything was over for another year. Stall holders began to pack up, customers scoured round for last minute bargains, and Osborne Road slowly transformed itself back into a residential road again after all the excitement and fun of the Forest Gate Festival.

I'm so looking forward to next year! :-)


blessingsgoddess said...

A great festival by the look of it, and such good weather.

Lubna said...

Thank you, yes it really was:-) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment - I really appreciate it :-)

Deborah said...

Wow, Forest Gate...that takes me back, Lubna. When my now ex first moved to London he rented a room in a house in Windsor Road. I remember cooking Christmas dinner in that tiny room with condensation running down the walls! The things you do when you are young :-)

Lubna said...

Hi Deb! Welcome and glad you stopped by:-) Wow! you got all that from my posting of the festival - not bad! :-D