Young People Invited to Make a Noise in Winchester

With the Beijing Games opening this weekend, plans for Winchester’s own celebrations of the biggest sporting event on the planet are continuing to develop.   Organisers of the Big Live Your Dream Picnic on Sunday 24th August are now calling for young people to volunteer to take part in the giant ‘junk drumming’ band which will form a highlight of the event, which marks the handover from Beijing to London as incoming host city.

Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council are inviting children and young people (minimum age eight) to join a one hour drumming workshop at North Walls Recreation Ground, followed by the chance to lead a procession to the Guildhall in time for the raising of the official handover flag.  At the head of the procession will be the Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Michael Read, and the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Ken Thornber.  All the drums will be made from recycled objects, from baking trays to plastic pots, and will be provided by expert percussion facilitators Drumpulse.

Winchester City Council’s Head of Cultural Services, Eloise Appleby, said,  “It’s not often that we can actively encourage young people to make a big noise in the middle of town.  At the Big Picnic we are offering an hour’s fun and friendly tuition on basic drumming rhythms, with the chance for our ‘junk’ drummers to take part in a really unusual and memorable occasion. I hope we might even inspire a few of our young people to take up a new and very sociable pastime.”

Organisers have been delighted by the response from local groups to the ‘Olympicnic’ at North Walls.  The free event features large screen action from the closing day at the Beijing Games, as well as sports taster sessions and a ‘mini Olympics’ at River Park Leisure Centre.  The latest additions to the line-up include story readings from Hampshire County Council’s Library Service, which is currently promoting its Big Team Read summer holiday reading scheme for children, and a Carnival Creatures workshop using scrap materials.

Winchester City Council’s Environment Service is also encouraging picnickers to try their hand (or foot) at ‘trainer wanging’.  Trainer wanging is a variation of the traditional British sport of wellie wanging, requiring participants to see how far they can throw an old trainer – before placing it in the recycling bin provided for the occasion.  Picnickers are invited to bring any old trainers they want to get rid of, along with other sports clothing, to take advantage of the on-site recycling operation which is kindly supported by European Shoe Recycling and The Salvation Army.

Julie Amies, Director of Sport Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said,  “The Big Picnic will be a great event for everyone, and an obvious celebration of sport at every level.  But there is also a strong green theme, thanks to our creative recycling activities, which reflects the environmentally friendly objectives of London 2012.”

Young people who are keen to take part in the drumming band should ask their parents to contact Winchester City Council as soon as possible at or ring Sarah Moore on 01962 848 231.  Further information about the event can be found on the ‘events’ pages at