This year's Bunkfest puts others in the shade + picture gallery

Peter Taylor from Wicket Brood Morris at Bunkfest

Peter Taylor from Wicket Brood Morris at Bunkfest Buy this photo

First published in News
Last updated

AS some of the last rays of summer sun beat down on Oxfordshire at the weekend, thousands turned out to celebrate the 13th annual BunkFest in Wallingford.

The three-day festival — which started on Friday — had the biggest turn-out yet, organisers said.

More than 20,000 watched traditional dancing and live bands, stroked sheep, goats and ponies in the petting zoo and had fun on the fairground rides.

Coal-powered traction engines sent clouds of steam billowing out across Kinecroft Park.

The annual festival, named after the bunk line railway from Cholsey to Wallingford, is staffed and organised by about 300 volunteers.

Festival director Dominic Feeley, 50, said: “We think it is the biggest free festival in the country, and we have people from all over the UK visiting.”

He said popular attractions included a “silent disco” on Saturday night when revellers bopped away to music piped through headphones.

Traction engine owner Arthur Honey, 66, who came with two of his red machines, said: “They attract a lot of attention.

“The kids just love them, but a lot of the children don’t understand what the coal is, I have to keep showing them the fire.”

Related links

Gesturing with his engine oil-stained hands to the bigger of the two, he said: “This one is called Lady Ann, and the smaller one is Phoenix. I call them my babies.”

The Wallingford resident said: “I have been coming to the festival since it started, when there were just a few tables and chairs around the Cross Keys pub, and it has escalated out of all proportion.

“I think this is the best one yet, and certainly the busiest.”

Oxford Mail:

Arthur Honey with his traction engine, and visitor Bertie Chapman, two

Two-year-old Bertie Chapman, from Upper Basildon in West Berkshire, beamed as he sat on Lady Ann’s leather seat.

His dad Mark Jex, 45, said: “He really likes tractors and he likes these too.

“This is the first time we have been to the festival and the weather has been wonderful.”

Julia Smith, 58, from Wallingford, said: “We have been every day this year. As we live just around the corner, it is so convenient.

“It is absolutely brilliant.”

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Cyclists warned: Don't be dimwits

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th October 2014

BIKE safety campaigners have warned that cyclists are risking their lives, after an Oxford Mail survey found more than half of them were riding without lights.

Football match in Banbury stopped after bottle was thrown towards the referee

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

5:18pm Saturday 25th October 2014

A FOOTBALL match was abandoned this afternoon after a bottle was thrown onto the pitch.

Extra hour tonight! Celebrate with top bands at unique Oxford gig

Oxford Mail:

1:40pm Saturday 25th October 2014

With an extra hour to enjoy - or recover with - tonight is the perfect night to celebrate one of Oxford's biggest nights of music

FOOTBALL: Rose wants to keep Oxford United climbing

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

Danny Rose is targeting a move into mid-table today as Oxford United visit Carlisle United in search of a third win in eight days.

Shhh... silent film is a reel hit with movie buffs

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014

FILM buffs were given a taste of how movies used to be watched as they turned out for a silent screening in Witney.

Update: Oxford University student Isobel Priest is found safe and well

Oxford Mail:

8:49am Saturday 25th October 2014

Police have said the 21-year-old Oxford University student who was reported missing has been found safe and well.

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:46am Mon 1 Sep 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

while it was a good festival, i was very concerned to note the number of people staggering round town and the surrounding streets, "Bunkfest" pint glass in hand full up of the local liquour, falling over and making trouble..

In previous years, I remember that if you had alcohol in the glass you could not leave the Kinecroft for your safety and that of others - has this now changed? If so then a stronger police presence is needed as most of wallingford was swimming in drunks on saturday night.
while it was a good festival, i was very concerned to note the number of people staggering round town and the surrounding streets, "Bunkfest" pint glass in hand full up of the local liquour, falling over and making trouble.. In previous years, I remember that if you had alcohol in the glass you could not leave the Kinecroft for your safety and that of others - has this now changed? If so then a stronger police presence is needed as most of wallingford was swimming in drunks on saturday night. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: -1

9:51am Mon 1 Sep 14

cornflake girl says...

Bunkfest was fantastic organisers deserve a medal, great atmosphere great entertainment bands were fantastic, so much going on. Well done all involved.
I agree with the drinking bit, Its good to see people having a good time and at a festival you expect a few worse for wear souls wandering about and laid out, But this year they were walking around the town itself and wallingford with cans and bunkfest pints, It should be restricted to the festival area only, or of course in the pubs.
Bunkfest was fantastic organisers deserve a medal, great atmosphere great entertainment bands were fantastic, so much going on. Well done all involved. I agree with the drinking bit, Its good to see people having a good time and at a festival you expect a few worse for wear souls wandering about and laid out, But this year they were walking around the town itself and wallingford with cans and bunkfest pints, It should be restricted to the festival area only, or of course in the pubs. cornflake girl
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree