Photos: Broadstairs Folk Week fun and where it all began

Photo Adam Dark

Thousands of folk week revellers have been packing out Broadstairs as they enjoy events around the town.

The festival, now in its 52nd year, still has a whole range of activities taking place between now and Friday (August 18).

It began when the late Jack Hamilton, who was instrumental in the growth of Sidmouth Folk festival over 60 years ago, decided he wanted to found his own festival somewhere in the south-east so he set out to find the perfect seaside town.

He arrived in Broadstairs and knew at once this was the place.

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The Folk Show took place twice a day and then the festival expanded into the pubs and the Retort House as a song venue.

Funding came from the district council which provided a £100 deficit guarantee. The English Folk Dance and Song Society provided a £50 grant.

In the early 70s the festival became well known in the folk world and more workshops and dance events were added. The festival organisers also laid out camping facilities at a local school. Extra grants were secured and sponsorship grew. South East Arts also recognised the festival and gave a small grant.

Photo Adam Dark

In 2001 Folk Week – thanks to a development grant from the Arts Council – hired a 500 seater marquee to programme the headline acts and as a result, the turnover tripled in just a couple of years, exceeding all expectations.

The festival benefits from an amazing army of volunteers without whom Folk Week would not happen. They do everything from taking tickets at the door, staffing the Festival centre, the campsite, driving minibuses – all in exchange for a season ticket. There are now over 250 of them.

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In 2012, Kent County Council carried out an independent survey of the Economic Benefit of Festivals in East Kent. Folk Week had by far the most significant impact with an estimated £2.3 million into the local economy.

Watch out for these youngsters at this year’s festival

Report by Adam Dark

Kira, Amber. Emily, Nicky, Megan, Jamie, Laurie, Libby, Ellie, Taz and Frank

When you are walking around Broadstairs Folk Week keep your eyes out for a group of young people from the National Citizen Service. They are in need of your support.

They have come together to try to make a difference in their community and their chosen project is to support the local RSPCA Woodchurch Branch at Manston. The young people are volunteering at the Manston RSPCA and want to raise at least £500. They have raised £100 in three days already.

The 16 and 17-year-olds are having a charity fundraiser at Margate Cricket Club on August 18 from 11am until 3pm and they are hoping people will come along and buy a tombola ticket from their stall. There will be a duck stall, a bouncy castle, cutest pet competition and more.

The teens are also doing a 10-mile walk along the coast from Westgate to Manston. If you would like to donate a prize for the tombola or to donate to the cause call the NCS team leader Nicky Poile on 07814 167 148 or email Nickypoile@cxk.org

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