Right royal festival of fun at village bash

Heath and Reach party

Heath and Reach party

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Around 150 people gathered at Heath and Reach barn as the village celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday with a festival of food, royalty-themed games and music.

The event on Saturday, June 4, brought villagers of all ages together ranging from newborn babies to grandparents.

The Mayor of Leighton Linslade, Cllr Stephen Cotter, opened the festivities at midday. Guests were serenaded with live music throughout the afternoon, with performances by the Heath and Reach Village band, local singing duo Katherine Reilly and Lilly Holloway-McClean, and a 45-minute set from sought-after Bedfordshire jazz singer Alison Carter.

For the young at heart there were royal dressing up games and bouncy castles, while stalls by the Women’s Institute selling tea and cakes, a bar dispensing local ales, a barbecue run by Heath and Reach Scout group and traditional raffles also did a brisk trade.

Held to support the Willen and Keech Hospices, the royal party raised more than £1,000 for good causes.

Heath and Reach Parish Council clerk Francesca Sheppard: “We were a bit anxious after a week of pretty unseasonable weather, but Saturday stayed dry and warm which made for a really enjoyable day.

“The barn is very much a focus of the village and it was great to see so many villagers, from those who have lived here all their lives to new arrivals, joining together.

“There were some great raffle prizes contributed - but the real winners were the two hospices and it was really pleasing that the village turned out to support them.”