Here you will find information on everything that happened during the Norton Festival.
The highly acclaimed ‘Topsy Turvy’ was shown in Norton Village Hall on Wednesday 7th October as part of the Norton Festival. The story concerned the conflict between Gilbert and Sullivan as they prepared for the première of ‘The Mikado’. The film was being shown by Norton Movies Night, a group that brings top rate films to the village.
The well-known and highly acclaimed ‘a cappella’ choir, Parnham Voices, performed in the Church, with a varied programme, on Friday 9th October.
Originating from the 14th century the Village Feast is a celebration of the dedication of churches inspired by a bishop of the day. In the case of Norton sub Hamdon the church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and so the feast has been observed down the years towards the end of September. This year it was part of the Festival and was an evening of ‘feasting’ and entertainment.
A feature of the Festival, for those who visited the church, was the Promenade Performances by local artistes and friends of the village. These free performances enabled visitors to walk around the church, looking at the Exhibits and Displays and enjoying refreshments.
Local people, of all ages, created scarecrows and invited visitors to walk around Norton on a Scarecrow Trail. Many of the characters depicted were readily recognisable.
EXHIBITION BY LOCAL ARTISTS
Norton has a lot of very talented artists and craftsmen who work from the village. Many of them put their work on display in the Norton Reading Room during the period of the Festival and some had their work for sale – with 25% being donated to the church.
The Norton Reading Room has fulfilled many roles over its history, not the least of which had been to provide reading material! In the late nineteenth century its records reveal that newspapers were brought from the then local railway station. On the Saturday a group of people set out from the Reading Room to collect the papers from the site of the Montacute Railway station. The Town Crier (The Reverend Peter Thomas, vicar) read the reported news of the fire in the tower of the church in 1894.
The morning Communion, was a celebration of harvest in the widest sense. Not only did it give thanks for the products of agriculture but for all the productive activity associated with the community. Guest preacher was The Venerable Frank Bentley. Frank now retired, was brought up in the village and sang in the choir for many years before becoming Ordained and Archdeacon of Worcester. An afternoon Festival Praise sang Norton’s voted Top Ten Hymns, including the Benefice Choir’s favourite anthem and the Organist’s favourite Voluntary.