Now in its 18th year, the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s family festival event is a wonderful celebration of all things pumpkin related.
The day (10th October 2015) was opened by Eastleigh Mayor Jane Welsh and her husband to the skirling pipes of the Southern Jacobites Pipe Band.
The Jubilee Sailing Trust offers life changing experiences to both disabled and able bodied people aboard their two purpose built tall ships, Tenacious and Lord Nelson. Crews of mixed abilities come together as a team to sail the ships for both short and longer voyages around the UK, Europe and the World.
This enables people from all walks of life to experience sailing on an equal basis. This has included many Forces personnel for whom it can play an important part in their rehabilitation programme.
A huge range of activities were taking place, from the world record entries for the largest pumpkins and squashes grown and the many live performances by bands and choirs in the two large marquees. These included the Eastleigh Fusion Choir, Southampton Ukulele Jam, Southampton’s own Americana band The Paper Trains and head liners Love Street.
Inside the Chapel were art activities for children run by Hamble based artist Gillian Jeffery assisted by Rajni Bali of Eastleigh Council.
There were pumpkin themed bakery items (pumpkin pasties are very yummy!) and other fascinating stalls selling hand made clothing, lamps and handbags.
Outside there were several areas given over to children’s play, including a double-decker play bus and inflatable slides, rides and bouncy castles.
The Scarecrow Avenue was back with many exhibits from local Schools, guide troops, charities and businesses. There was even a scarecrow policeman complete with a hi-vis vest!
Local groups such as “Forgotten Wrecks”, One Community, the Fareham & District Bee-keepers Association, Southampton Scrapstore and Bella Crafts also hosted stalls where you could learn, try, make and buy items.
Locally produced food was available in partnership with local businesses Pickwell Farm, Netley and The Prince Consort who together produced curry for the popular JST Pumpkin Curry stall, which served this vegan-friendly curry with French bread. There was also pumpkin soup with garlic bread. Highly recommended!
There was local game in burgers and sausages freshly BBQ’d for eating hot, fresh fish in cakes and pasties. Plus Lyburn Farm Cheeses, Pig & Pickles’ wonderful preserves (I love their chilli chutney – we use it to give heat to most of our Indian and Mexican dishes!), Yarty Cordials, Hampshire Fare and Farmers Market.
There were also candy floss, ice creams, doughnuts and sweets for the less healthy minded!
The JST ran a pumpkin stall which had many different varieties of pumpkins and squashes not normally available in the shops together with cooking hints and tips.
Then there were all the wonderful craft stalls offering jewellery, recycled metal sculptures, stained glass items by local artists, knit-ware, kiddies clothes, fairy dresses for the smaller folk and much, much more!
Other charities, such as Hearing Dogs and the Hamble Lifeboat (one of Mayor Jane Welsh’s charities), and local Guides and Scouts were also fund-raising.
Eastleigh and Lock’s Heath Rotary together with Masons in the Community manned the three gates.
Over 8,000 visitors came on the day, the biggest attendance in their history.
The entrance charge of £4 is inclusive of parking, just 50p more than the normal car parking charge for one hour. This represents good value for money and a whole afternoon’s entertainment, whilst enabling a wide variety of community groups to showcase their group, encourage volunteers and fundraise at the same time.
I was helping out in the hospitality tent (so I got to meet all the bands!) and my colleague Julie from our Totton store was volunteering on the pumpkin curry stall. Apparently she was very keen to help with quality control on the stand, selflessly checking each batch for taste! They sold out completely by 3pm. Can’t think why!
In all there was an amazing amount of things going on to suit every taste and age and I can’t think of a better family event for the Autumn.
Insider’s tip: Next year, get there early, well before the 12 noon opening and enjoy the festival and splendid views out over Southampton Water.
Thank you for all you have done in connection with the festival https://t.co/MXjLAbhcvC
— Sonja Davison (@jstpumpkin) October 11, 2015
Never miss out on another blog post. Subscribe here:
Subscribe to Blog via Email