The Shelford Feast goes back to medieval times. Great Shelford Feast was always held on the second weekend in July and lasted for three days.
It was an ancient feast coinciding with the patronal festival of the church of St Mary the Virgin. The children dressed in fancy dress and went in processions to the field where stalls were set up and games and sports held.
In the early part of the century The Feast was held on the sports ground, where Leeway Avenue is now, moving to the land behind the former De Freville Arms in the 1930’s. The main feature of The Feast in those days was a funfair with Stanley Thurston Amusements featuring prominently.
Before the Second World War, interest in The Feast waned and the last one was held in 1938 until revived in 1994. The Shelford Feast was revived in 1994 because of concerns about the effects of education cuts on Shelford Primary School.
It was the brainchild of Jerry Brown, whose father Basil had taken part in organising the Feasts which took place in Shelford before the Second World War. Jerry grabbed a few pals, told them how hard the school would be hit by the cuts, and the group called The Bunch was born. In six weeks The Bunch had organised a Feast in the grounds of the school and all proceeds were given to the school.
Now a regular village event, The Feast has raised over two hundred and fifty thousand pounds which has all gone to local good causes, mainly those which help young people, and has entertained all who have attended.
It is now is a Festival and Feast with evening events throughout the week preceding The Feast itself; live music, stand up comedy, quiz night and community events, plus excellent food and drink.
Though its fund raising focus has become broader, its original aims of providing entertainment and funds for the young people of the village has remained unchanged and increasingly successful.
The Shelford Feast is a registered charity (registration number 1130121). We submit independently examined accounts and a trustees’ annual report each year to the Charity Commission.
You can see these on the Charity Commission website, together with a list of the current trustees and other information. For more details see here: Charity Commission