The new year kicked off in great style with the Christmas Tree bonfire party, where almost 180 people made a magical parade of lanterns, fairy lights and glowsticks up to the pig field.
The fantastic turn-out was boosted no doubt by the extra activities organised for 2018, including a bush craft and bonfire skills workshop and two lantern making workshops.
The bush craft was very ably provided by Long Itchingtom scout leaders and gave participants the opportunity to try a range of exciting new challenges, from making stick-twisted dampers, to starting fires with flint steel strikers, to identifying the best trees for campfire wood.
Participants from toddler to teen had a fantastic time and accompanying adults appreciated being allowed to test the delicious potatoes, popcorn, calzone and s’mores they cooked on the open fire.
Resident artist Faye led lantern making workshops, providing simple instructions for pyramid lanterns and willow materials for those with unbounded creativity and ambition.
The results from the 27 participants of all ages were stunning and led to a fish, a fox, a birdcage and a great array of decorated pyramids swinging along on the parade to the pig field.
For the Retirees’ Tea workshop, fuelled by plentiful cake, window-sill size lanterns were made by about 20 of Marton’s more senior residents, who loved the colour-changing tealights and came up with equally magical decoration ideas.
The belated Twelfth Night celebration at the pig field was no less inspiring, with a huge bonfire of Christmas trees, many of which had been robustly dragged through mud all the way to Eathorpe Park.
A biscuit lottery elected a King and Queen, who passed 24-hour laws about kissing (compulsory) and singing (banned) while their subjects toasted their good health or planned their revolutions over fortifying mulled wine.
Once this ran out a return to the village hall bar was inevitable for most and a wonderful evening continued with great shared food and quality company.
The events were supported by a small Rugby Borough Arts Development grant and a host of fabulous volunteers who collected trees, prepared the field, served refreshments, baked biscuits, cleared up after workshops, delivered flyers etc etc…
We salute you all.