SUMMER in Suffolk – the time of year when most of us who live here are convinced that not only is the county the best place on earth, but there is actually nowhere better than our very own town or village. It’s also the time of year when thousands of visitors to the county also discover Suffolk’s many charms. We welcome them, and shyly share our little secret with them. For a few months our roads might be busier, pubs and restaurants fuller, beaches a bit more crowded. But we’re glad our businesses will do well out of it, and we know we’ll feel the economic benefits of a busy summer.
Suffolk’s summer calendar is packed with events great and small. A highlight in August is family friendly FolkEast, a relatively new addition which has fast gained national recognition. It’s quirky and different in a very Suffolk way, with a heritage that lies in the Albion Fairs of the 1970s. Lindsay Want explores this and previews the programme for this year’s event.
‘They provide great family entertainment, but they have a more serious purpose, bringing communities together and raising funds for local causes’
Throughout the county, towns and villages will be throwing open their greens, squares, waterfronts and parks for all sorts of locally organised fetes, festivals, carnivals and celebrations. Most are the culmination of a lot of hard work by volunteers working with very little money, relying on the generosity of local sponsors. They provide great family entertainment, but they have a more serious purpose too, in bringing communities together and raising funds for all sorts of local causes.
A local event I’ve been pleased to support is the Felixstowe Book Festival, now in its fifth year. Thanks to founder Meg Reid and her hard working volunteers, the festival just gets better, attracting top authors, as well as encouraging up and coming writers, and is now a firm fixture in the town’s cultural calendar. I’ve greatly enjoyed supporting and judging the festival’s short story competition and you can read the winning story on page 74.
As I write this I’m also looking forward to meeting members of Suffolk Craft Society at the opening of their summer exhibition in Aldeburgh, which runs until the end of August. The work of SCS artists and crafts people is extraordinary in its quality and diversity. Another reminder that Suffolk truly is the ‘creative county’.
August 5, Halesworth Brocante Antique & Vintage Market. You never know what you might find . . .