First Huntingdonshire history festival enjoyed by visitors

Elphicks boss Kim Pittams, right, collected the history festival shop window display award from Rota

Elphicks boss Kim Pittams, right, collected the history festival shop window display award from Rotary chairman Mike Baker, centre, and festival chairman Mike Addis represented runner up Oxfam book and record shop. Saxongate was also a runner up - Credit: Archant

Huntingdonshire’s first history festival has been hailed a success, attracting more than 5,000 people to a string of events over the last month.

Now plans are being put in place to repeat the festival in the future and organisers would like to get more areas of the district involved.

Mike Addis, chairman, said: “I think everybody who went has enjoyed it.

“I think it has gone quite well and quite a few things were sold out.“

There were more than 40 events during the festival, including re-enactments, talks, film shows and music.

Mr Addis said: “This year has been getting it established and we are able to see where it well and, of course, where it could have been done better. We have been really pleased with it and the good thing is that nothing went wrong.

“I think the biggest problem we have had is getting people to know about it.”

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He said the event was designed to represent Huntingdonshire as a whole and he would like to see a greater involvement of other parts of the district in future years - perhaps communities organising their own separate attractions as part of the wider festival.

This year a gap was included so the festival did not clash with a living history event in St Neots.

Mr Addis said: “We would like to hold it every year or every other year in future.”

He explained that the festival had started with the idea of having a series of historic window displays in the town’s shops and simply snowballed.

“Originally the plan was to have a shop window display following on from an impressive display in the Oxfam book and record shop and ended up as a month-long festival with lots of events,” he said.

The window display contest, instigated by the Rotary club, was still a key part of the festival and was won by furniture shop Elphicks with a display telling the story of the business.

Oxfam book and record shop and the Saxongate centre were runners up.

Their awards were presented at a talk on the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalions from the First World War, one of the last major events of the festival.