Thousands of people flock to Eastbourne’s Lammas Festival

Thousands of people flocked to Eastbourne seafront at the weekend (July 27 - July 28) and were treated to a host of entertainment at the annual Lammas Festival.

The two day event was in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and as well as having the chance to see local artists performing traditional music, dance and crafts, story telling was also on offer, along with stalls for visitors to browse and snap up goods.

A procession took place at midday on the Saturday led by the John Barleycorn figure, which represents the spirit of the corn harvest, followed by other groups including Morris Dancers.

Despite a downpour on the Saturday afternoon, the festival - which ended with sunshine on Sunday - was well attended.

On the last day visitors were treated to a demonstration in the sea by Eastbourne Lifeboat.

Lynda Lindfield, secretary of the Lammas Festival Committee, said, “It’s been another wonderful, successful year.

“We had a very good turnout, despite the downpour on Saturday. I think we had around 3,000 people come along. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and we had lots of good feedback.”

The crowds could also enjoy a band line up including The Equatorial group, Matt Cooper and Black Strap Molasses.

Among visitors was Councillor Carolyn Heaps. She said, “I went there on Sunday and it was lovely. There was lots going on and some great bands, especially Black Strap Molasses. Also hats off to the people involved with the lifeboat demonstration.”

One team said the event went well, despite someone trying to steal a laptop from them.

Trevor Weeks, founder of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, said, “Thank you to everyone who came down to the Lammas Festival on the Western Lawns at Eastbourne over the weekend, the weather was much kinder to us than expected and we did well in sales and donations.

“It was nice to meet so many people and to hear such positive support for our work.

“The one downside was interrupting a lad trying to steal my laptop out of the ambulance. Luckily he disappeared empty handed after I managed to grab the laptop from him.”

Lammas is a harvest celebration of the Earth’s bounty traditionally held at the cutting of the first corn crop. It is one of the four ancient pagan Celtic fire festivals which were adopted by the early Christian church.

See The Herald on Friday (August 2) for two pages of Lammas photos.