BBC Deputy Political Editor opens Gratton Festival

BBC’s political editor, James Landale will officially open the Gratton Festival on Saturday 28 June at 2pm in Sutton Scotney near Winchester. This highly anticipated annual event raises money to help maintain The Gratton recreation space in the heart of the village, and the involvement of local man James will no doubt add to the excitement.

The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Eileen Berry, is also attending the event and will be helping four year old Henry Hopwood, to carry out the official opening of their newly refurbished playground.

This action packed charity event will also see the inaugural performance on Winchester City Council’s new portable stage, known as Your Space. The stage – which is built on a trailer base - can be borrowed for free for public events in the Winchester District.

The line up on Your Space includes three local bands: Frenzied and Diligent, Midge and The Tree Fellers and Acoustic Dever. There will also be a chance to enjoy singing, dancing and more during the Gratton’s Got Talent contest.

Throughout the afternoon there will be demonstrations of rural crafts, pirate boat rides on the River Dever, bouncy castles, story telling, an army assault course provided by army personnel as well as fun games and sports for adults and children alike. This year is the 75th anniversary of the Sutton Scotney Retained Fire Service who will be bringing four engines. In the evening there will be a major music festival with the crowd being entertained by lots of different bands performing on the main stage.

Tickets can be purchased from The Dever Stores, The Coach & Horses, The Wonston, Barton Stacey Stores, Micheldever Stores and South Wonston Stores.
They cost £1 for children, £3 for adults daytime only and £7 for adults all day and all evening.

John Polak, Chair of The Gratton Trust, said:

The aim of the event is to raise income for the Gratton Trust which was set up as a charity in 1997 to manage the valuable shared green space known as The Gratton. This open space was generously given in trust to the community by Lord Arthur Rank. We are responsible for all day to day maintenance, from cutting the grass to repairing the pavilion and providing playground equipment. Just to cover annual running costs we need to raise £15,000 every year.

Winchester City Council’s Assistant Director (Economy & Communities) Eloise Appleby, added:

We are delighted that our mobile stage is making its very first outing at such a lively and worthwhile community event. I hope that everyone will support the Gratton Festival, and that other voluntary organisations will see the potential of Your Space for their own events – which was an initiative close to the heart of the previous Leader of the Council Keith Wood.

The mobile stage is a unique design, created by Winchester-based architecture practice Design Engine and constructed by Maltbury Staging.

To find out more about the Gratton Trust visit: To find out more about booking Winchester City Council’s mobile stage visit: