The 4th Phoenix Garden Agricultural Show & St Giles Fayre
On Saturday 1st September The Phoenix Garden and St Giles-in-the -Fields Churchyard were transformed into a country show-ground with stalls, bunting and show tents for the 4th Phoenix Garden Agricultural Show and St Giles Fayre. Organised by the Phoenix Garden this annual event brings a countryside experience to the West End to entertain visitors of all ages and this year’s show was a smasher!
It wouldn't be a country show without animals and, as expected, the rare breed farm animals from Miller's Ark Mobile Farm were a hit with everyone. They showed off great big Brahma chickens and their tiny chicks, roly-poly Kune-Kune pigs, a miniature Mediterranean donkey that was in fine voice and bugled resounding 'eeyores' throughout the day. African pygmy goats shamelessly begged for titbits, Shetland Sheep bleated softly and a pair of Irish Moiled calves made cow-eyes at everyone, before one leapt out of its pen and made a dash for the gate mid-show - much to the delight of the crowds.
National fancy pigeon judges, Colin Ronald and John Ross, brought a display of beautiful fancy pigeons that were a firm favourite with visitors more familiar with London’s 'flying rats'.
Traditional craft skills were on display; The London Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers showed raw wool being transformed to yarn and being knitted into bunting to decorate their stall. The London Beekeepers Association had a display hive of bees and all types of bee products - honeys, candles and wax polishes. The West End Women's institute proved that the inner-city still can bake with the best offering a fine display of tasty cakes and jam.
The St Giles bell ringers, led by the inimitable Dennis Elliston, took visitors up the winding stairs high into the spire of St Giles-in-the-Fields church to try their hand ringing the church bells.
The show ground entertainers kept the crowds smiling; the London Pride Morris Dancers put the more daring audience members through their hanky waving paces, Geoff Felix's Punch & Judy show had the younger visitors in fits of giggles, and musical performances were provided by Crystal Palace Brass Band and the St Giles Choir. The 30 piece brass band played beautifully, with a playlist with something for everyone to enjoy and the choir's rendition of 'I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside' went down a storm and rounded off the day nicely.
Our thanks go to all the volunteers, exhibitors and performers who helped put on such a great event.
This year’s show was generously supported by; The William Shelton Educational Charity, Soho Housing Association and the London Borough of Camden.
“I love the pigeons with the furry coats on but I don’t like the pigs – they smell!”
Juntaro Wixon – aged 8.
“I am so pleased that this year’s show has been such a success. It is great after all the hard work by the Phoenix Garden team, to see so many people enjoying themselves – it makes it all so worth while”
Jane Palm-Gold – The Phoenix Garden