Shobdon Food and Flying Festival gears up for takeoff

Hereford Times: Hereford Aero club members Jim Howells (left) and Barrie Thomas with a 1937 B.A. Swallow. Hereford Aero club members Jim Howells (left) and Barrie Thomas with a 1937 B.A. Swallow.

RESIDENTS of a small county villageare bracing themselves for their busiest weekend of the year as they prepare for the arrival of over 5,000 visitors by road - and by air.

The second annual Shobdon Food and Flying Festival takes off at the village’s historic Second World War airfield where a host of attractions await.

Over 100 top drink and craft exhibitors from Herefordshire and the surrounding counties will be there, along with historic static aircraft, aerial displays, cooking demonstrations, horticultural exhibits, children’s entertainment, and live music.

The food festival itself is celebrating its 10th birthday - it started as a small local fundraiser.

The historic village church, and Shobdon Primary School were among the beneficiaries.

The event joined forces with Herefordshire Aero Club’s aviation weekend last year. During the past decade its popularity has grown massively with the combined event now attracting thousands of visitors from across the Midlands and beyond.

Organiser, Matt Teale said: “The combination of food and flying makes our event unique in the county, possibly even the country.

"It’s great to see the mix food and flying enthusiasts enjoying themselves.

"Not only do you get the foodies checking out the planes, but pilots have been booking their landing slots for months so that they can shop for the best produce around.

"You see them getting back on board loaded up with Herefordshire’s finest food and drink – sort of a fly-through supermarket.”

On the food front this year everything from speciality breads, organic ice creams, succulent local meats and pastries sit alongside food from around the world, confectionary, local ales, ciders, wines and liqueurs. There are also demonstrations by top local chefs as well as Great British Bake Off star Brendan Lynch.

On the flying side of things there’s a gyro copter display, parachute jumps by the Pilgrims Armed Forces display team as well as activities designed to attract young flying enthusiasts. There will also be interesting and historic aircraft and helicopters coming and going all weekend. The more adventurous visitors can even sign up for a trial flight with Herefordshire Aero Club.

The Shobdon Food & Flying Festival takes place at Shobdon Airfield on Saturday and Sunday June 28 and 29. Entry is £6 per person with under 11s free. For more information to to. www.shobdonfoodfestival.co.uk

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