Celebration of the arts at first Finmere Festival

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HUNDREDS of people enjoyed art, family activities and heritage events at the first Finmere Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Bicester MP Tony Baldry and decorated Second World War pilot Leslie Valentine were among the guests of honour at a special preview exhibition of work by local artists on Friday night.

More than 500 people enjoyed entertainment and family activities at the main community day on Saturday, while others enjoyed a more laid-back day of heritage and cultural events on Sunday.

Proceeds from the inaugural event, estimated at more than £2,000, will be shared between the Help for Heroes charity and Finmere’s parish church of St Michael and All Angels.

The festival could now become an annual fixture on the village calendar.

One of the organisers, Jane Woodbridge, said: “It was absolutely fantastic, with a wonderful community spirit. Lots of people turned out to volunteer on the day and everybody was very supportive.

“We’re hoping it will become an annual thing. It’s a bit difficult to say yes or no so soon after, but I think it’s something we’d love to do.

“It was great to bring the community together and raise money for charity at the same time.”

Finmere resident Keith Jansz, a member of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, had made an oil painting of wreaths on Finmere’s war memorial especially for the event.

Other local artists who provided work for the exhibition inside the church included Robin Litt, Tlws Johnson, Roger and Jane Woodbridge, and Patricia Hansom, as well as pupils from Finmere CofE Primary School.