Hallowe’en Ball

As I am sure you are already aware, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that it is now vital to limit social contact and avoid gatherings. For that reason, I have made the difficult decision to cancel our Spooktastic event this year.

While I know this is very disappointing I hope you can understand the decision I have had to make. I feel I can’t host a fabulous Spooktastic event whilst implementing all social distance requirements to keep all our attendants and staff safe at this time.

Although I am very disappointed that the event will not be going ahead, as this will be my 8th year hosting, I am very positive that we will be back in 2021 with an even bigger and better event! I thank you all for your understanding in this matter. And I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful volunteers that help out each year, I couldn’t do it without your kindness and help. And a big thank you to all the companies who have supported and helped out at this event over the years.

Here’s to next year!

Stay Safe,
Alex Johnson
Event Director

Jumble Sale

Our next Festival Good As New Jumble Sale is currently scheduled to take place on Saturday 10th October at Goosnargh Village Hall.

Obviously, under the present situation regarding Covid 19 we cannot guarantee that we can hold it on that day but if we can’t, the committee intends to hold it at the very earliest opportunity afterwards. So we ask all our regulars and friends to keep a ‘look-out’ for an announcement on the Festival website, Facebook page and local press; and please, please hang on to all your jumble!

Festival Queen Selection

This year’s Festival Queen Selection Concert is being held this Sunday (2nd February) in Goosnargh Village Hall starting at 2pm.

Our three local primary schools will be performing in front of villagers, the Mayor of Preston and President of the Rotary Club. Please come along and join us in what is always an excellent and entertaining afternoon.

Registering for the draw to be Festival Queen (or King) 2020/2021 is between 1pm and 2pm.

Looking forward to seeing you there on Sunday!

Halloween Disco

An evening of spooky fun was held on Friday 25th of October, organised by an inspired alex johnson on behalf of the G&W Whitsuntide festival committee.

The village hall was transformed into a spooky circus for the themed evening which proved a huge success with children parents and alike.

Despite the vagaries of the electricity supply, the show went on and Goosnargh villagers did not let it stop them having a great evening.

Fancy dress, novelty songs and dances, and Halloween games all with prizes, were led by a superb entertainments team including sound, lighting, and performers. Hot pot, hot dogs and drinks and cakes were also available.

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.

Showtime 2019

Don’t miss Alex Johnson’s latest extravaganza to launch Festival 2019!

Come along to Goosnargh Village Hall for a 2pm start on Sunday 3rd February and witness the selection of our Festival Queen elect at around 3pm.

Delicious cream teas will be served in the interval and we are delighted all three local primary schools will be taking part.

The Mayor of Preston has accepted the invitation to join us and a fabulous afternoon’s entertainment is guaranteed!

Candidates wishing to register to be Queen should arrive between 1pm and 1.45pm and a parent/guardian should accompany them. Please check the website for qualifying details.

Upcoming Events:

Spring Jumble Sale: Saturday 16 March

Festival Theme:
Flights of Fancy – celebrating 100 years of Transatlantic Flight

Festival Day: Saturday 1st June

Triumph for Alex!

Massive thanks to Alex for yet another truly spectacular Hallowe’en Event. Needless to say the Village Hall was packed and it was fabulous to see so many young families joining in.

You had to be there to fully appreciate the work that had gone into creating a really spooky entrance experience leading on into a room dripping with miscanthus and awash with laser lighting etc.

Special thanks to DJ Colin, Judith & Sharon from the Committee and to Alex’s Team of Caroline, Lynne, Diane & friends; also to everyone who donated cakes & Raffle Prizes

It was great to see Festival Queen Romilly, with such a wealth of supporters all really contributing to the success of the evening.

Final word from Alex: “I’m already planning next year’s event”. The village is very fortunate to have you!

Next up!

Festival AGM

7.30pm Goosnargh Village Hall Committee Room

Tuesday 13th November

Everyone welcome

Please come along and support the work of the Festival Committee

Jumble Update

Thank you for all your help & support for the Festival’s Autumn Jumble Sale. I’m delighted to let you know that we raised around £1100 which, considering the awful
weather on Friday and Saturday, is just brilliant.

All the dealers were well satisfied and everyone took a date slip for the next sale on March 16th 2019 – they say they really look forward to our sale and the sandwiches & cake are much appreciated!

The clearer gave £108 for the left over clothes, books & shoes which will go to various aid programmes both here and abroad and we took bric-a-brac and toys to the YMCA and other local charity outlets.

Thanks to Alex for overseeing everything and to Festival Queens Romilly and Niamh and their supporters Beth, Sadie & Matthew for pitching in so willingly.

Just 2 weeks now to Alex’s Hallowe’en Spectacular on Friday 26th October from 5.30pm in the Village Hall. Don’t miss this – Alex is pulling out all the stops and promises his best ever Hallowe’en Disco Party with fun & games and lots of prizes to be won. Adults are welcome to bring along your own wine, beer etc.