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Posted by Kim Winter, Friday 31st May, 2013

Roll up to the Windmill Festival

Lambs from Brixton pop-up farm

Image: Owen Llewellyn

Jill Reyes of the FoWG Events Group looks forward to the Windmill Festival and Parade on 22 June

Where could you possibly find a hurdy gurdy, a Pearly King and a brand new speciality loaf of bread? "Not all in the same place, surely!" I hear you say. How wrong you are!

Right here on your doorstep, if you venture out on Saturday 22 June, you can experience all this and much more. If you find yourself in Brixton town centre at lunchtime you will be astounded to see crowds festooned in strange attire, baker boys pursued by cakes, puddings and pies and giant horses unperturbed by the noise of drums! Entertainment is free to all who congregate in Windrush Square outside Brixton Library at 1pm.

"Now, what was that you said about a hurdy gurdy?" I hear you ask. (For the uninitiated, a hurdy gurdy is a rare and ancient musical instrument.) Well, if you care to take a stroll up Brixton Hill that afternoon and pause by the shops, you can leave the hustle and bustle of the Saturday supermarket queues far behind.

Turn into Blenheim Gardens. There, just past the Windmill pub, you will not only discover the mighty Brixton Windmill in all its glory, but also, in full swing, a Festival of Fun and Frivolity! You may need to remind yourself that you are still in Brixton as a flurry of females in frilly flamenco frocks pass you by!

Just as you are about to be swept away by the clatter of castanets, the strains of good old Cockney ditties will reach your ears and serve to remind you that you are not too far from Bow bells! The smell of home-baked bread may tempt you, winsome wenches selling their wares will barter for your custom and the distant sound of a train whistle may alert your attention, though it may be nothing more than the haunting tones of a particularly convincing blues harmonica.

"What about the kids?" I hear you say. Fear not! The gardens are safe and self-contained. While you are reminiscing with the folk songs of your youth, the kids will be up to no good on the super-supervised bouncy castle, daring to dress up and join a dance workshop or enjoying a tantalising theatrical experience inside the windmill. Puppets and pets and puzzles and games will occupy and amuse them, so you can relax!

"Sounds like a fun day out," you might say. You are not wrong! It's informative too. You never know - you might learn something about the history of the mill or discover local activities that are available right now. There is even the opportunity to find a work experience placement that could put the wind back in your sails!

So what could be better than parading up Brixton Hill on a sunny Saturday and lazing away the whole afternoon at a fun festival where everything is free? See you there!