Newington Village Festival Saturday, July 7

Newington Village Festival proved to be a popular alternative to the football World Cup on Saturday, July 7, as people sought a fun-packed afternoon away from the television.

Although some people visited just for the first three hours until kick-off, there was plenty of entertainment to keep the crowds engaged for the rest of the afternoon.

The popular annual tug-of-war was declared the most competitive ever with four-times winners The Three Tuns, Lower Halstow, taking back the title they last won in 2015.

They beat the holders, Sittingbourne Rugby Club, 2-1 in a pull-off after the teams had tied on points during the round robin match. The Harrow, Stockbury, took third place.

All the teams were equally matched during lengthy strength-sapping pulls in extremely hot weather on the school field.

Elaine Jackson, chair of the Parish Council’s Festival Committee, said: “We had some of the best attractions ever with a particularly strong line-up of bands such as Marylebone Jelly, Mo and the Ferrets, Stoned, 2Che and Vocademy, and we offered fun entertainment that was a welcome alternative to the football.

“Despite the heat, there were top class performances from the children of Kent School of Dance, Rainham Rangerettes, and Sittingbourne and Milton Sea Cadets Band.

“In addition, we had sheep and ducks from Romney Marsh Sheepdog Society, Mrs Dolly Mixture’s magic show and Voices from Victorian London street theatre.

“Making the Festival a football free zone was appreciated by lots of visitors. The event takes the best part of a year to organise, with acts being booked months in advance.

“Even after the World Cup draw was made in December, the odds of England playing on the Festival day were very low, so cancelling or delaying it was not an option. My thanks to all our hard working helpers, all the entertainers and to the JCB Group for their sponsorship.”

The Festival, which was officially opened by the Mayor of Swale, Cllr Samuel Koffie-Williams, is a community event organised by the Parish Council with many village organisations showcasing their activities. Also on display were hobby and working craft clubs, fairground attractions and vehicles from Kent Classic and Sports Car Club.

The winner of the Barrow of Booze main draw prize – a wheelbarrow filled with bottles of alcohol valued at more than £200 – was Tom Ledger, from Wormdale.