Burning of Wicker Man celebrates start of summer at Butser’s Beltain Festival

ON GUARD Joe Tyler, left,  and Tom Tribe.
Picture Ian Hargreaves  (170525-1)
ON GUARD Joe Tyler, left, and Tom Tribe. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170525-1)
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FAMILIES gathered to celebrate the start of summer with a Celtic festival.

Butser Ancient Farm held its annual Beltain Festival on Saturday with visitors enjoying music, stalls and the traditional burning of the Wicker Man.

The event had entertainment from singer Ed Goodale and the Pentacle Drummers as well as other activities such as Roman cooking, Saxon re-enactors and crafts.

Katie Rivers, of North End, was at the festival with her partner Charles Rocket and two daughters Layla, three, and 11-month-old Florence.

The 23-year-old said: ‘This is the first time I’ve been here with the girls but Charles came last year with our son Cayden. They really enjoyed it so we decided to come again.

‘There is a really lovely atmosphere and it is quite a different event.

Entertaining the crowds

Entertaining the crowds

‘I couldn’t wait for the burning of the Wicker Man.’

Many other visitors to the festival, held near Clanfield, were also counting down until the burning.

Friends Ursula Tebbet-Duffin and Rebecca Richardson, from London, were impressed by the Wicker Man which had a Saxon theme.

Rebecca, who was at the Beltain Festival for the first time, said: ‘It is so chilled and relaxed, it’s been a great evening.’

It is so chilled and relaxed, it’s been a great evening.

Rebecca Richardson

Lots of people were in fancy dress for the event and had their faces painted.

Louise Hosford, from Horndean, was at Butser Ancient Farm with her family including daughter Lexie Vears.

Lexie, 12, said: ‘I have enjoyed the crafts like the weaving and it has been fun learning about all the history.

‘The burning of the Wicker Man was the best part.’

Danielle James and Lindsey Catlin

Danielle James and Lindsey Catlin