Wittfest Boosts Playground Project

Long Wittenham’s 19th annual Wittfest musical festival hit the top notes when hundreds of visitors were entertained by 21 bands last Friday night, Saturday and Sunday at The Plough and £1,613 was donated to the village play equipment fund.

Project organiser Catherine Harrison praised the public and The Plough for their generous support and said: “A big thankyou to visitors and the Plough team of Liam, Kim and Julie Carberry for their support and enthusiasm for our project which is important for the young children of the village.”

Mrs Harrison also thanked the raffle ticket sellers, the cake bakers and sellers, bubble makers and the mystery man in the giant Peppa Pig costume who delighted the children.  She added: “It was a lovely event – great atmosphere, music and sunshine.”

The music stage was provided free by Toplift Scaffolding.  Pete Jones Gardens and Landscapes built and dismantled the marquees and prepared the gardens free of charge.

The playground project organisers have applied to South Oxfordshire District Council for a capital grant worth more than £7,000 to replace the ageing play equipment in Bodkin’s Field.  The organisers have to match the grant and are making good progress.  The parish council has contributed £2,500.  Wittenham Warriors have committed £500 and may donate another £500 from the safari supper proceeds.

More than £700 was raised from the village Fun Run and barbecue, £62 from the Swap Shop and £260 from the Sylva Foundation cake stall during Arts Week.  Still to come in is money from the Ladies’ Evening on 7th July.  The annual bonfire and fireworks night in November run by Wittenham Warriors is expected to make a significant donation.

Mrs Harrison said she was optimistic that the district council would sanction the grant. “We hope that work could start on the project this autumn so the new playground equipment would be ready for use next year. “

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