Surrey Festival Church Trail Loseley Event




Over 12,500 people visited and participated in the first ever open-air arts festival at Loseley Park on a hot summer weekend. This event was part of Surrey’s response to the 2012 Olympic Games and Cultural Olympiad programme. Children and adults alike enjoyed a mixture of theatre, dance, music and visual arts in a celebration of Surrey, its landscape, heritage and culture.

The NADFAS West and East Surrey Area in partnership with the Surrey Hills Society organised art and crafts workshops and demonstrations with six further partners, as well as a photographic competition for the young.

The large NADFAS stand showcased our volunteering activities: two Church Records were on display, as well as three replica brasses for brass rubbing, which proved very popular with all age groups. Two exquisite antique quilts, on loan from Loseley House, allowed the Heritage Volunteers to talk about how they had worked on their conservation.  Grants from the two areas, NADFAS and many of the Surrey DFAS societies and 29 NADFAS volunteers supported the other artists within the marquee.

Watts Gallery put on ceramics workshops, where everyone could make decorated clay tiles and preserve their name for prosperity. The Surrey Art Wardrobe showed off the Victorian costumes based on the Watts Gallery paintings and created by school children.  The public enjoyed dressing up in the rails of costumes of the same period. Fire and Iron Gallery’s metal work display celebrated one ironworking family’s journey “home” to Surrey, starting with ironfounder Peter Quinnell (1603-66) of Compton. An artist was creating animal sculptures out of sheet metal. The North Down Lacemakers added to their “Pass the Pillow” project – started in 2009 with the aim of getting as many people as possible to participate in making a continuous piece of lace by the start of the London Olympics in 2012. Creative Fibres were using spinning wheel and spindle to demonstrate traditional crafts. And textile artist Karen Lucas was making felt for a Time Line Scarf from the wool of sheep penned in front of the marquee.

On a sunny Monday afternoon 140 NADFAS Members from West Surrey Area gathered at the Tithe Barn, Loseley Park for a Celebration: a treat for all our volunteers on Church Recording, Church Trails, Heritage Volunteering and Young Arts.

The day being so lovely, most sipped their elderflower bubbly outside. Later we viewed project displays, and sat inside to enjoy delightful music from three local young musicians - Verity Foster, harp; Sarah Baldwin, violin; and Ben Copeman, flute.

Roger Allen (Area Chairman) welcomed everyone, introducing the four National Volunteer Chairman who took turns to thank those present for their hard work and dedication; Alison Wakes-Miller (Church Recording), Sarah Harris (Church Trails), Juanita Sharman (Heritage Volunteers) and Denise Topolski (Young Arts).  All had the same message that “volunteering makes NADFAS special: it gives great joy to the volunteers themselves and maintains our reputation for care and quality”.

We were then treated to more lovely music before being served a splendid tr aditional tea of sandwiches and fine cakes.  A great afternoon was had by all and everyone really appreciated being appreciated!  “When is the next one?” was chorused by one and all as we departed.

Caroline Coleman

West Surrey Area Trainer

“Volunteering makes NADFAS special:  it gives great joy to the volunteers themselves and maintains our reputation for care and quality”