‘It really is a community effort’ – Melbourn Bloomsday Festival set to return for WaterAid charity

The Boniface Consort at a Bloomsday Breakfast. Picture: Courtesy of Hugh Pollock

The Boniface Consort at a Bloomsday Breakfast. Picture: Courtesy of Hugh Pollock - Credit: Archant

Get your bowler hats ready – it’s almost time for the third Melbourn Bloomsday Festival.

Some of the 14 Melbourn Village College students rehearsing their Bloomsday readings. Picture: Court

Some of the 14 Melbourn Village College students rehearsing their Bloomsday readings. Picture: Courtesy of Hugh Pollock - Credit: Archant

The event is usually commemorated in different towns and cities nationally to celebrate James Joyce’s famous 1904 tale Ulysses – but three years ago a handful of villagers interested in literature, drama and music decided to bring the festival to Melbourn.

Organiser Hugh Pollock has praised all the volunteers who have been working hard all year for 2017 Bloomsday – which, as always, takes place on June 16 and will raise money for international charity WaterAid.

“Melbourn Bloomsday festival brings together many groups and institutions who have been doing great work in preparing for this year’s event.” he said.

“All the events throughout the festival are free to attend. We encorage vistors to dress in clothes reminscient of the era on June 16 if they can, and a donation to WaterAid is welcomed.”

Melbourn barber Tony Perretta re-enacts the opening scenes of 'Ulysses' by shaving at the top of a M

Melbourn barber Tony Perretta re-enacts the opening scenes of 'Ulysses' by shaving at the top of a Martello Tower. Picture: Courtesy of Hugh Pollock - Credit: Archant


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The volunteer-led festival runs from June 13 to 17 is spread across the village and venues include people’s homes, and Melbourn Community Hub.

Festival comittee member Bruce Huett said: “It really is a community effort well worthy of support for WaterAid.”

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Before the launch, there will be opportunity to learn about both the work of WaterAid and some projects Melbourn’s fundraising has supported. From Monday June 5, two table-top exhibitions will be displayed at Melbourn’s hub and the foyer of Melbourn Village College.

The festival launches at the hub library from 10am to 11am, where there will also be a short story reading.

And over the four days there will be plenty to see and do from reinactments to talks, songs and exhibitions.

Look out in particular for the lecture by Dr Jeremy Noel-Tod at the village college on the Thursday from 7.15pm to 9pm,

The June 16 reinactments which start off with the Martello Tower Scene at the cross, and follow the day of Leopold Bloom with scenes across the village that are sure to delight. The day includes a concert by The Boniface Consort at the Unite Reform Church at 11.45am

The Saturday finale features a wide range of performances, creative arts and child-friendly activities in and around The Pavilion. Also on Saturday the WaterAid Supporters Group, Cambridge, will be in attendance manning an information stall.

For more see www.facebook.com/MelbournBloomsdayFestival.

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