Apple extravaganza set to replace axed Highbury festival

The Friends of Gillespie Park will hold an Apple-themed event after they were forced to axe the annu

The Friends of Gillespie Park will hold an Apple-themed event after they were forced to axe the annual festival - Credit: Archant

An autumn apple extravaganza will replace a popular Highbury festival that organisers say was thwarted by red tape.

The Gillespie Park festival has taken place for the last 27 years but organisers say they have had to cancel this year’s event due to bureaucracy.

Pat Tuson, from the Friends of Gillespie Park, says nit-picking, particularly around food, forced their hand.

“Every tiny little bit of food had to be meticulously recorded,” she said. “If someone comes along with cup cakes covered in cream it had to be recorded.

“It was all getting a bit too fussy, shall we say. It’s costing about eight or nine thousand pounds to stage.


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“We’re really good at fundraising, but we only get about half that, so each year we are dipping into our resources.

“It’s not sustainable because eventually we run out of money.”

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Instead, the group is organising a smaller-scale event on October 19 celebrating apples.

Pat said: “It will be a much smaller event near the ecology centre. We’ll have a longest peel competition, apple bobbing, apple lunches and teas, and an exhibition of heritage apples. We are asking members of the public to bring apples from their own garden.”

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