Over 4,000 visitors ‘taste Wickham’

Press Release: 16/09/2014

Taste of Wickham residents enjoying the festival

The Taste of Wickham festival, which took place in Wickham’s medieval Square on Sunday 14 September, attracted over 4,000 visitors - more than double the number originally anticipated by the organising team.

The success of the event has been put down to a combination of the huge local effort put into the organisation and promotion, and some unseasonably warm and sunny weather.

On the day, Leader of Winchester City Council, Cllr Robert Humby, dashed from talking about Taste of Wickham on the Nick Girdler Show on BBC Radio Solent, to offering hands-on help with the park and ride service at the event. With so many visitors choosing to make use of the car park at Westlands Farm, the ‘ride’ service kindly provided by Meon Valley Lions was stretched beyond capacity. Cllr Humby and Parish Clerk, Nicki Oliver, came to the rescue by ferrying visitors to and from the car park in their cars.

Cllr Humby said:

Considering that this was the very first ‘Taste of Wickham’, I was absolutely amazed at how well-organised and supported it was. The sheer number of visitors took everybody by surprise, but in helping with the rides back to the car park, I was able to hear first-hand how the visitors had enjoyed their day and heard nothing but praise for the organising team led by Winchester City Council’s Market Towns Development Officer, Heidi Isa.

With many of the stallholders selling out by the end the day, it was not just the visitors who had a good day. Many of the businesses have already signed up to having a stall if the event is repeated next year.

Sophie Lombard, co-owner of Wickham’s chocolate shop, Confiserie Verdonk, and an integral part of the organising team, was thrilled by the success of the first Taste of Wickham. She said:

After months of planning and hard work by everyone involved, it was incredibly exciting to see it all come to fruition and be so successful. With over 40 volunteers helping in the planning and running of the event, it really was a joint community effort and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback since the first visitors arrived on Sunday morning.

The event attracted hundreds of local people, many of whom of had walked there to support businesses from their village. Visitors had also flocked in from Fareham, Botley and many of the other surrounding towns and villages. Goodie bags on sale at the event contained, among other things, money-off vouchers for local shops and restaurants which organisers hope will encourage repeat visits.

Wickham offers visitors a laid-back and friendly shopping experience with many independent shops, intriguing shopping lanes, and traditional stores and services that have been serving visitors and locals for generations. For details of details of what’s coming up in Wickham visit www.wickhamsquare.co.uk or follow @WhatsOnWickham on Twitter.

The organising team will meet again next week to discuss what has been learnt from this first Taste of Wickham, taking into account feedback received from visitors, stallholders and residents of the village.