Fun day resurrects spirit of the Hackney Marsh Festival

The Daubeney Fields fun day.

The Daubeney Fields fun day. - Credit: Archant

A Midsummer Fun Day on Daubeney Fields marked the 40th anniversary of the start of the Hackney Marsh Festival, which organisers hope to resurrect next year.

The Daubeney Fields fun day. Photo Ian Roberts.

The Daubeney Fields fun day. Photo Ian Roberts. - Credit: Archant

The two-day annual festival was one of the first community festivals in London and ran from 1974 to 1989, with a carnival procession through Hackney’s Streets, firework displays, funfair attracting 15,000 people.

Saturday’s event in Daubeney Fields saw the community paint a mural in the skate park designed by youngsters, a music and talent show, BMX, boxing and capoeira displays, football with Leyton Orient, have-a-go sumo wrestling and face painting.

The Foundation Sound International provided music and Sharon Patrick, Hackney Council’s new Speaker handed out free ice-cream tokens to children provided by the event’s funders.

Gerry Tissier, chair of the park user group Daubeney Fields Forever which organised the event said it reminded many people of the days when Homerton’s schools, nurseries, churches, pubs, clubs and Chatsworth Road market put on the Hackney Marsh Festival.

He said: “They created a procession of carnival floats which went through local streets to the Fields where they were greeted with a huge fun fair.

“Hundreds of bands, artists and circus acts performed over the years, from Sikh warriors, reggae, ska and punk bands to gospel choirs, jazz singers and the Hackney Philharmonic Orchestra.

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“The spirit of the Hackney Marsh Festival is rising again - we want to restore the Festival to its former glory.”

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