Village Traditions

Many villages have long standing traditions going back many years from cheese rolling, intervillage football matches (across the intervening fields with a goal in each village), well dressing and even street dancing.

At risk of missing one I would suggest Woodford has four historic traditions.

The youngest or newest is Remembrance Sunday which is a national or even international event, in which almost every settlement large or small participates, from the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London to the summit of Great Gable in Cumbria.

The others are much older events, none of which have a recorded formal start date. These three traditions are the feast and flower festival, which has evolved over many years, Mayday celebrations, and lastly the Christmas gifts for widows and pensioners from the village charity which many villages have in one form or another. Each of these are examined in detail below.

Remembrance Sunday

On November 11th, 1919 the village schools were closed, this being the first anniversary of the signing of the armistice, and on 11th November 1921 a two minute silence was observed in the schools. The children then sang "O God, our help in ages past". Mr Reed, the headmaster at the time, recorded that 200 handmade poppies had been sold by the older girls around the village (towards the Earl Haig Fund). 1921 was the first year there was a memorial on the village green. In 1924 on Friday 7th November poppies were given to the children in preparation for Poppy Day to be held on the following day.

Woodford Feast and Flower Festival

The origins of Woodford Feast are lost in the mists of time, however, many if not all towns and villages had a "Feast". This was usually linked to the Patronal festival of the Parish Church. Woodford Feast has always been held on the Sunday following Kettering Feast which is held on the Sunday following the Feast of St Peter and St Paul (29th June), so is usually held on the second Sunday following that date.This coincides with a visit from the "Fair" whose season is fixed by the midsummer fair at Cambridge. Usually the two events coincide.

There will be more deliberations on this page as time passes, including Feast Traditions, local folklaw and sayings, and the relatively new (by comparison) idea of the "Flower Festival" - Coming Soon. In the meantime here is a link to a Woodford Diarist's recollection of some Feasts of the past


To follow

Charity Gifts

To follow