Hartlepool village prepares to celebrate in tradition that is almost 600 years old

Greatham village will come together to enjoy a big party this weekend – just as it has for almost 600 years.

By Mark Payne
Monday, 17 June, 2019, 12:44
Last year's Greatham Village Feast parade.

The 558th Greatham Feast begins this week with fun and games in store for people of all ages.

It is a village tradition that goes back to the 15th century and was started to celebrate the birthday of St John the Baptist on June 24.

Last year's Greatham Village fair.

Over 500 years later, the feast continues with a four day programme of activities with something for everyone. 

A new committee of 10 volunteers from the village have organised this year’s festivities after forming last year.

Committee member Cheryl Hutchinson said: “We didn’t want it to stop so we formed a whole new committee.

“This year we are really organised and know what we are doing. All year we fundraise to give the village this event, but the whole village contributes to it. 

“It’s a huge event for the village. We are really looking forward to it. We have had a look at the weather and it is looking quite good for it.”

The Feast begins on Thursday, June 20, with a five-a-side football tournament, before pub games in the Bull & Dog.

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On Friday, June 21, activities include the popular baby show and pensioners tea in Greatham Community Centre.

Feast Day is on Saturday, June 22, when the annual fete takes place on the village green in the afternoon featuring amusements and stalls, glamorous grandmother competition, music by Hartlepool’s Liv N G, and judging of the fancy dress and decorated bikes.

Prizes will be presented by feast king and queen Aiden Vaughan and Chloe Hutchinson, 15.

The fancy dress parade sets off from the Methodist Church on the high street at 1pm.

Cheryl added: “It’s all very hush hush. Nobody will tell us what they are doing!”

Then on the night, band The Wolcotts will bring the day to a close by playing on the green.

Before that at 11am the Greatham Bake Off returns after being introduced last year.

Entries must be at the community centre no later than 11.

The feast draws to a close on Sunday, June 23, with sporty competitions for all ages on the village sportsfield from 1.30pm.