FESTIVAL -- Summing up this year's Kington Festival, which ended with the customary gala and carnival day, organising committee chairman Rod Symondson said: "Everything went swimmingly." A favourite moment for him, one suspects, was on Kington Past Day, when the lone Spitfire -- symbol of the 1940 Battle of Britain when Britain stood alone -- made its fly-past over the town and many older people recalled the gallant 'Few'. Generally speaking, the weather had been good and so were attendances at the festival's various events, not least the dance on gala night in the town centre, which provided an appropriate climax to the fortnight's revels, with music by Laughing Jones.

Mr Symondson also recalled the success of this year's wheelbarrow race night, which raised a blanket collection, and he praised the part played in the jollifications by the local Mint band. In a nutshell, he added, it could be said that one of the great successes of the festival "was the tremendous community spirit which it engenders." Although there was an excellent attendance and a good turn-out from competitors in the carnival events, there was a disappointing entry of just four in the float section,said treasurer Rodney Bowdler.

The procession through the street was led by the Red Crystals marching band, entertainment was provided by the Kington Country Kickers and music came from Mint, the local group. Leading the carnival procession was the winner of the Johnny Price Memorial Cup, awarded to the best overall pedestrian, which this year was Catherine Francis (Bunch of Grapes). Results: Adults' float: 1 Tavern (Welcome Home Tea Party), 2 Kington Youth Club (Music of the 90s); Children's float: 1 Jacqui Turner's Group (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), 2 Kington Brownies (Alice in Wonderland); Decorated pram or cycle, children 11 years and under: 1 Chloe and Molly Benbow, Ellie and Jono Lloyd, Harriet, Bethanie and Shanon Evans (Many Little Hands Tribe), 2 Emma Preece and Sarah Turner (Crows), 3 Holly and Emily Brooks (Little Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf).

Pedestrian adult: 1 Colin Croose (Lily Baggage), 2 Wendy Layton-Morris (Mickey Mouse); two or more adults: 1 Helen and Carl Yeomans (Peter Pan and Smee), 2 Andrew Davies and Sally Read (Travelling Circus), 3 Wendy Turner and Michelle Preece (Learning Genies). Pedestrian, child: 1 Lisa Turner (Mary Poppins), 2 Catherine Francis (Bunch of Grapes), 3 Robert Protheroe (Thunderbirds); two or more children: 1 Matthew and Amy Norman (The One That Didn't Get Away), 2 Emma and Laura Lloyd (Mickey and Minnie Mouse), 3 Josh Clarke and Tom Salmon (Clowns).

In the festival grand draw, helicopter rides were won by Ben George, Alan Clayton, Garfield Evans, Marjorie Slade-Jones, Wendy Turner and Jon Kemp. Other prizewinners were: Mrs K Johnson, Margaret James, David Joyce, Colin Shaw, Joy Slater, Marie Roberts, Denise Hussey, Julie Housego, Julia Button, Mr Banks, Mrs E Kennard, Ann Crowther and Nigel Bradley.

Among the highlights of the second week of the festival was the Rain or Shine Theatre Company's presentation of Sheridan's 'The School for Scandal' -- out of doors in the beautiful gardens of Hergest Croft. The company lived up to its name, for the rain held off during the performance, which was seen by a full house of 200 people. Arrangements are under way for a return visit by the players during next year's festival.

PICNIC -- Kington was well represented at the celebratory picnic to mark the 75th anniversary of the Council for the Protection of Rural England, which was held at Windsor Great Park. Among the guests were Kington's Bob Widdowson, who is chairman of the Herefordshire CPRE branch, his wife Christine, and the chairman or the North West Herefordshire (Kington) branch, Gwyneth Guy. Mr Widdowson was presented to the Queen, for it was a royal occasion.

TOURIST GROUP -- The second part of the Kington Tourist Group diary, covering the period from July 1 to October 28, is now available, free of charge, from the tourist Information centre. It includes forward events up to the end of the year.