AN estimated 30,000 people flocked to Nantwich for the town's
Food and Drink Festival on the weekend of September 24-26, 2010. And a
decision of the new not-for-profit organising committee proved a good one.
Despite - or
because of - not including Mill Island as one of the venues (the sole
venue in the past) seemed to have paid off.
The main arena was The Square
in the centre of town - plus other streets in the town centre - but the main indoor venue was the Civic Hall in
Market Street, renamed the Mornflake Food Hall after the sponsors.
car park behind the White Horse pub in Pillory Street also had a new
name - The Food Live Terrace where children's cooking was one of the
events. Of course, many of the traders enthusiastically taking part were
in their own premises as in previous years - and many were open on the Sunday, a day when
they were usually taking a well-earned rest.
But it wasn't just the town
centre premises that were taking part. The Globe Inn in Audlem Road,
towards the outer limits of the town, were serving food all day, and
there was a "Cheerbrook Sausagefest" at Cheerbrook Farm just inside the
outer ring road. Plus other out-of-towners.
PUBLICITY in local newspapers and on large
advertising boards at various places in and around the town had
obviously worked. The sunny weather clearly helped to bring in the
visitors but it was often hard at times to move from stall to stall,
from shop to shop.
Foodies wishing to see the many
stalls in the Civic Hall found themselves facing long queues (at one
time the line went from the hall to the next-door Peter
War, became part of the festival when the
exhibitors laid on a food tasting event.
The Curator (Anne Wheeler)
later reported "an amazing weekend" which smashed all attendance records
"by miles". The Saturday saw "an incredible" 1,646 visitors, with 895 on
the Sunday. Food made for the special Sunday opening had to be used on
the Saturday, followed by a rush to make new batches for the Sunday.
A glossy 44-page
programme, supported by advertisements placed by those taking part,
listed all the events of the weekend. Volunteers recruited by the
organisers included some who were distributing the programme (left).
Many people refused these - until they were told they were free!
Chairman Cllr Graham Fenton and
his team can hold their heads high with pride for a job well done.
HAVING said that . . . I have heard one complaint
that the Love Food Hate Waste (a Cheshire East Council campaign) chef
demonstrations had (a) been seen before, and (b) weren't as good as the
star-name chefs that appeared in the marquee on Mill Island where there
was an admission charge in previous years.
Also, the person didn't think
much of the stalls in the Mornflake Food Hall (Civic Hall). Had they had
to queue on the Saturday they would have been annoyed as well as
They also had a complaint about
the amount of wine given out per person in the wine tasting, but I don't
know about that.
How much did they expect for nothing?
Wilson Fine Art Auctioneers many yards
away). This was in part due to a limit of 600 people in
the hall at any one time. As visitors exited through a
side door of the hall, the message was relayed to the front door "Twenty
people have left the hall; allow 20 more in".
The final two days of an
Nantwich Museum, featuring the Polish Resettlement Camp at
Doddington Park, near Nantwich, after the Second World