COWSLIP Sunday, Lambley’s revived annual celebration of its native flower, has attracted national press coverage. Country Living, a major glossy lifestyle magazine with a circulation of over 200,000, devotes three pages to the event in its May 2012 edition, published today. The magazine’s features editor Ruth Chandler and photographer Emma Smith attended the 2011 celebrations to prepare the article, and the magazine’s front cover even includes a couple of bunches of strategically-placed cowslips.
The article, ‘A springtime story’, recounts the unusual sights the journalists encountered on their day in the village – including a fairy on stilts, quotations from Shakespeare on banners, and a 15ft giant made of wicker and papier mache. Cowslip Sunday includes a procession through the village, an arts and crafts fair, an outdoor production of a Lambley Jack play, and an evening ceilidh – all of which are mentioned in the article.
Several members of the cast are named and photographed, along with other locals who contribute to the event – local farmer Richard Copley who provides the trailer that acts a a makeshift stage, textile artist Donna Rumble-Smith who created the cowslip banners, and musicians David Crawford and John Mecia who provide musical accompaniment throughout the day.
The article highlights the pivotal role played by Lambley resident David Longford in the revival of Cowslip Sunday, which has been marked in various ways in the village for centuries. Responding to a call from the Lambley Parish Plan for more community events, he spearheaded the project to create the Lambley Arts Festival which runs Cowslip Sunday on the first Sunday in May, as well as promoting live theatre events in the village at other times of the year.
Other locals mentioned in the magazine article include Kevin Warren and son Michael, teenagers Kate Swan, Emily Brown, and Jess Spencer (all fairies in the 2011 play), and the eponymous hero of the Lambley Jack saga, Fred Swan. There is even a passing reference to the editor of dumbles.co.uk.
Cowslip Sunday 2012 will take place on 6 May, with an arts and crafts fair in Lambley Village Hall from 12 noon until 4pm, the cowslip procession through the village, starting around 2pm, and the one-time-only presentation of Lambley Jack and the Golden Stockings on the outdoor stage behind the village hall at about 2.30pm. Events culminate in the cowslip celidh in the village hall from 7.30pm. More details from Lambley Arts Festival and cowslipsunday.co.uk
Country Living magazine is available at newsagents, price £3.90.