THE ancient market town of Bradford on Avon came alive to the sound of music, mumming and dancing as more than 240 Morris dancers and mummers celebrated the change in the season from spring to summer with one of the largest Green Man Festivals in the country.

Up 24 dance groups from all over the South West descended on Bradford on Avon on Saturday for a family-friendly community festival of traditional dance, music, song and folklore.

They included the giant Jack in the Green, his Ganderflankers musicians who were aimlessly messing about, and some ‘wild beasts’ who toured the town centre.

The festival also saw a unique guest appearance from Jill in the Green and her musicians – the Bradford on Avon Green Man Festival is the only one in the UK that has both Jack and Jill in the Green.

Alfie Windsor, 72, who organises the festival with his wife Jan and Keith Leighton, said: “It was absolutely fabulous. We could not have had better weather.

“The town was absolutely packed to the seams and we have had a flood of positive feedback from the spectators, stallholders and performers.

“We have already started planning for next year’s event on Saturday, May 13 2023.”

It was the fourth time the Green Man Festival has been held in Bradford on Avon and the event is growing in size and reputation with every year.

The event marks the change in the season from spring to summer, with Jack in the Green being built locally by members of the Bradford Men’s Shed. and being stripped of his greenery during the festival.

The main events were held in Westbury Gardens, Lamb Yard, the Weaving Shed and Olea restaurants, The Swan car park, and at the town’s ancient Tithe Barn.

Dancers came from all over the South West and beyond, including Holt, Bathampton, Bath and Bristol, as well as the Isle of Wight and Manchester.

They featured a group of Lebanese belly dancers, the Morena Slovak Dancers, and Gwerinwyr Gwent from south Wales.

The Mummers’ Play toured the town, with hourly performances at The Weaving Shed/Il Fume, Westbury Gardens, The Stumble Inn, The Three Horseshoes and the Tithe Barn workshops.

There was also live music from 60 musicians at The Dandy Lion and The Swan Inn, as well as Timbrell’s Yard.

Pagan Arts & Crafts were staged in The Swan car park and local artisans displayed their wares on stalls in Westbury Gardens.

If anyone wishes to get involved with next year’s festival, please contact Alfie Windsor on 07703 599220.