Chippenham had its first ever River Festival at the weekend. On Saturday there was dragon boat racing. About 8 local teams took part, two at at a time and over 3 rounds. There was raft racing and a Viking fire boat on Sunday.
There were various watery related stalls, plus The Black Farmer sausages to try. The Black Farmer – I’ve forgotten his name – is standing to be Chippenham’s MP at the next general election when Chippenham will have its own MP – instead of being lumped in with the rest of North Wiltshire – for the first time since the Rotten Borough constituencies were removed from parliament.
I really wanted this festival to work as it’s about improving the river and life in Chippenham. There was something of interest on some of the stalls, especially the one showing the history of the river in Chippenham. However, the space in Monkton Park hadn’t been used that well and everything was too spread out. There didn’t seem to be that many people there on Saturday either – the Bank Holiday effect?
I hope they were successful enough to have another one next year and can learn some lessons to make improvements for next time.