Organisers of Bromyard’s annual Hop Festival are delighted that local community benefactor Clive Richards has agreed to support this year’s event, which takes place on Saturday 30th August. Mr Richards recently wrote to the Hop Festival Committee: ‘Thank you for organising such a super day that the World Championship Hop Pocket Race turned out to be’.
In discussions with Hop Festival chairman Ian Raven, Mr Richards asked the Committee to ensure that St Michael’s Hospice benefitted from the huge crowds on Festival Day, and went on to say ’...as long as there was a charity involved, I would be happy to help sponsor such an event’.
Clive Richards (pictured) joins existing sponsors Wye Valley Brewery and hop merchants Charles Faram in helping fund-raise to ensure the Hop Festival can go on. Teme Valley Brewery also give support as part of regional hop-growers’ organisation Hopshires, and Mayfields and Hobsons’ breweries chip in to add their ales to the selection on sale in Bromyard’s hostelries at Festival time. The Festival is also supported by generous donations and advertising from many of the town’s traders and businesses. The event brings large numbers of visitors to the town centre and the Town Green for the craft fair, displays of rural crafts, and folk and rock music, and culminates in Bromyard’s unique Hop Pocket Race up and down Broad St and High St. The 2014 Hop Festival will follow the pattern established in previous years, but organisers promise ‘bigger and even better’.
The day will once again run from 10am, with a much-expanded Parade of vintage and horse-drawn vehicles taking place at 1pm; performances at the Conquest Theatre and on the Town Green of a brand-new community play about the mechanisation of the hop-yards in the 1960s; and it’s planned for the first time to have street performers to entertain the crowds.
Thanks in good part to support from popular BBC Hereford & Worcester presenter Toni McDonald (Pictured) who was the Hop Festival’s special guest and prize-presenter, the 2014 Festival attracted an estimated crowd of 3500 who packed the town centre to watch a record field of twenty-four teams of runners compete for the Hop Pocket World Championship race. Organisers are urging teams to get their entries in early for this year’s Race.