2023 saw the return of the highly anticipated Heritage Festival, organised and supported by Bude-Stratton Town Council.

On Sunday, July 16, these historical landmarks, once again came alive with a celebration of the area’s rich history, vibrant culture, and strong community spirit.

The festival guaranteed a captivating experience for visitors of all ages, offering a diverse range of engaging activities.

With a host of entertainment provided free for families to enjoy on The Castle Heritage Centre lawn, including Flotsam the Fool Circus Skills, inflatables, Adrian Ward Magic Shows and Claire Taylor’s face painting. Bude Croquet Club and Raymond’s Circus added to the entertainment, whilst Bude Motor Club displayed their wonderful classics to the crowds.

The Raggle Taggle Piskies and Bassline, who are local to the area, opened the festival with their live music, whilst the crowds browsed the local artisan stalls on The Castle lawn.

This year the team introduced ‘Heritage Games’ with the council’s newly appointed Outreach Officer, helping to bring Bude’s Heritage into the community and Janine King, the Castle’s heritage development officer, delivered the Castle heritage tours, which were a tremendous success.

The Parkhouse Centre saw an extension of the festival by bringing more than 20 community groups together to share what they can offer to the community and talk to the visitors about how they can get involved in local groups and discussions.

Some groups teamed up and the council’s Storm Tower Project, The Town Team and Bude Climate Partnership were on hand to update the public and interact with them to fully enrich their knowledge of current and future proposals they had for the inspiring projects that are so important to our community.

Bude’s rich heritage came to life in the numerous displays and knowledgeable community stalls that were in the Ivor Potter Hall and outside along the areas surrounding the Parkhouse Centre and the Methodist Church to help inform the public of the many ways they can get involved. Bude at War were also on hand to provide information for visitors to the huge events surrounding this celebration in September 2023.

The festival extended onto the Methodist Green this year, with more community stallholders engaging with the public and the return of the community dog show. Raising funds for ‘Born to Be Wild’ and supported by Tamar Vets. Organiser, Sue Gear, and her team of volunteers, judged some fabulous entries, many of whom were walking around, proudly displaying their winning rosettes.

Mark Berridge, Castle and library manager, said: “We as a council are delighted to host the Heritage Festival and are proud of providing the opportunity for everyone to explore the incredible history and culture that Bude has to offer.

“This event is a testament to our enduring community spirit and the importance of preserving our shared heritage. Despite the rain, we were overwhelmed with the support of our local community and visitors alike, that came to engage, learn and enjoy this wonderful event.”

The Heritage Festival once again, despite the showery weather was an immersive, multi-sensory experience that the whole community came and enjoyed and as The Countrymen took to the bandstand to close the festival, the sun came out and the crowds came together to sing along to some of Cornwall’s finest songs, filled with stories and tales of old.

Mark added: “You could hear everyone singing along to the Cornish anthem as the festival came to a close – what a fabulous day!”

The council will be continuing to put on free activities including heritage games, circus skills and live music to name but a few for the community throughout the summer holidays, so look out on the Castle website for more details, www.thecastlebude.co.uk

The Food Festival, Bude Carnival and RNLI Lifeboat Weekend is also coming in August.