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Out & About: Binsey hosts a fete-ful day for villagers
The sixth annual Binsey Fete once again charms Marc West with old fashioned fun and some fine music
Admittedly, it looked like the weather last Saturday afternoon would be a little more suited to ducks (let’s face it, summer is over), but that would never stop a small group of villagers from once again laying on what I think is one of our city’s most charming little events.
This year celebrates the sixth Binsey Fete and with the event going from strength-to-strength over the years, it never fails to put me under its spell. What better way to spend an afternoon than enjoying some good ol’ fashioned fun and raising a whole heap of cash for worthy local charities in the process.
As I wound my way down the ever-narrowing lane I finally (re)discovered the tiny hamlet hidden on the outskirts of the city. Once a year, it’s beautiful green comes alive with colour, music and friendly faces.
Young and old alike had no end of delights to enjoy – there were tractor rides, Alice In Wonderland fancy dress, welly wanging, Splat-a-Rat and a veritable menagerie of animals – all topped-off by some fantastic live music from the likes of Ags Connelly and (very) local boys, The Epstein – who’s frontman Olly Wills walked all of 100 yards from his farmhouse to play with his band.
And, of course, no visit to Binsey is truly complete without a pilgrimage to the mythical Treacle Well in the grounds of St Frideswide Church. If the stories be true, the well has healing powers… though, I felt quite revived by a golden liquid of another kind – a pint of Vicar’s Daughter from Noke-based brewery, Fisher & Co.
And if you failed to catch Oxford’s alt/folk all-stars The Epstein last weekend, don’t panic! Despite being festival favourites across Europe, the local boys have found time in their busy schedule to sneak in a forthcoming hometown show. On the third Saturday of every month, O2 Academy in Cowley Road proudly showcases the city’s finest acts in association with BBC Introducing in Oxford. And, on November 23, Olly and his merry band of brothers will be performing in celebration of the release of their second full-length album, Murmurations. Tickets are a mere £6 in advance and will also gain you free entry after hours to the venue’s Propaganda club night – with a special DJ set from Gus from Mercury Prizewinners, Alt-J.
Doors open at 7pm, so be sure to arrive early to fully enjoy all this fantastic night has to offer.
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