Festival 2019

Matilda Cowgill-Smith was crowned as this year’s festival queen at the Goosnargh and Whittingham Whitsuntide Festival (GWWF) last Saturday 1 st June 2019.

The procession started off at 2pm from the Grapes Inn after dancing by the village maypolers and the Carol May Academy of Dance and performing Arts, these together with the floats, fancy dress competitors, entertainers, and musicians added up to make a wonderful exhibition of a village pulling together and making a memorable day for everyone concerned.

Matilda and her retinue, took centre stage in the procession which led off on its way to the Square, Whittingham, by the Manchester Phoenix Pipe Band, the 1st Goosnargh scouts and the Apple blossom Children. On the Square the crowning took place in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of the City of Preston.

Both Matilda and retiring Queen Romilly Taylor paid tribute to GWWF hero Stephanie
Butters who lost her brave fight against cancer in March this year, in their speeches they remembered her for her tireless work over the last 24 years to make every festival day special for the countless children and adults of Goosnargh and Whittingham.

Tributes were also paid by David Butters, Chairman of the committee, to the dedicated band of volunteers, committee members and countless participants without whom the day wouldn’t be possible.

Chairman David Butters said: “We are delighted how this year’s festival ran, it was always going to be difficult with the loss of Stephanie but she would have been delighted with the outcome” he went on to say “we are so lucky that we have so many people from the village and beyond who willingly help to make the day what it is, from the volunteers who prepare The Square, clear up afterwards, to the people who manage the procession and road blocks, to the residents of The Square who welcome us, to the many workers who host the afternoon tea at the village hall, the bell ringers, the raffle ticket sellers – the list is endless but everyone is so appreciated”.

Decorated Float Competition
Class 1:- Children
1st ‘Let’s go fly a kite’ Goosnargh Oliverson’s C of E Primary School
Joint 2nd Minions St Francis’ Catholic Primary School
Joint 2nd Toy Story Goosnargh Ducklings
4th Minions St Francis’ Pre-school
Class 2:-  Adults
1st Goosnargh Rocks Blackpool The Holden family and friends
2nd Game Of Thrones The Swarbrick Family and friends
3rd Our Green and Pleasant Land Whittingham W.I
The Barton Grange Trophy for the overall best entry:-

Lets go fly a kite’ Goosnargh Oliverson’s C of E Primary School
The Jill Thiele Trophy for the best in class:-

Goosnargh Rocks Blackpool – The Holden Family

Fancy Dress Competition
Class 1:- Children
1st Dingle Dangle Scarecrow Leela Marsland
2nd Steven Evan Marslanc
Class 2:- Group
1st Baby Shark Ollies Pre-schol
Class 3:- Family
1st Hairy Fairy Biker The Hesketh Family
Overall Best Entry

Baby Shark – Ollies Pre-school
Most Original Idea

Hairy Fairy Biker – The Hesketh Family

Children’s Wheelbarrow Competition
1st Prize Katrina Grixti
2nd Prize Matthew Wareing
Adults Wheelbarrow Competition
1st Prize Lawrence Ibison
2nd Prize Lucky Jim
3rd Prize Val Myerscough
Decorated Garden Competition
1st Prize Julia Emerson
2nd Prize Reno Grixti
Decorated Shops Competition
1st Prize Goosnargh Pharmacy
2nd Prize Goosnargh Post Office
3rd Prize Classic Cut

Decorated House – 1st Prize


Wheelbarrow – 1st Prize


Wheelbarrow – 2nd Prize

Bushell’s House Founder’s Day

The day after Festival day was Matilda’s first occasion as Festival Queen when she visited Bushell’s House on their Founder’s Day. After doing a reading at St. Mary’s Church infront of Bishop Dr. Gill Duff, Matilda was then invited, with the Bishop, to meet all the residents at the house and join them for a lunch. The residents were so interesting to talk to and seemed to be very happy at the house, she even met a Festival Queen from 1965 who was visiting her mum! The lunch spread was amazing with a full salmon and lots of fantastic sandwiches and delicious puddings and cakes.

Bushell House was built as a house in 1722 by William Bushell, Vicar of Heysham, but unfortunately he died in 1735 and his will stated that his daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1727, should have the house but if she died before the age of 21 without children the house and the estate should be given to the village for “maintaining, supporting or providing for decayed gentlemen or gentlewomen, or persons of the better rank…of the towns or townships of Preston, Euxton, Goosnargh, Whittingham, Fulwood and Elston….” Elizabeth unfortunately died on the 7th July 1743 at the age of 16 and so the house became a hospital for the village.

Here is Matilda pictured beside Elizabeth’s portrait hanging in the house painted by Hamlet Winstanley, a reputable painter and engraver from Warrington.

Matilda was presented with a glass plaque engraved with her name engraved on it from the trustees of Bushell’s House by Chairman of the Trustees, Mr. Ian Brown.

Longridge Field Day

Longridge Festival Day on Saturday 8th June was a windy and rainy affair! Tilda’s dress was so wet at the hem that it left a trail of water bubbles behind it. We lost sunflowers from the canopy, roses from the bouquets but the girls soldiered on like the troopers they are. The new ‘Goosnargh and Whittingham Festival Queen’ sign was proudly carried by Laura-May Butters, granddaughter of the late Steph Butters, at the front of our procession. Tilda’s dog, Boudica, also made an appearance!