New beer festival is revealed for Sarisbury Green – and it all came about after a bet

FOUR ‘silly old dads’ have teamed up to host their first beer festival - and it’s all for a good cause.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 3:17 pm
From left, Rich Hadley, Don Foulds, Annette Foulds, Matt Emery, Dean Swensson, Mark Gulliford, Sharon Boggust, Elliott Honey, and Terry Mundy Picture: Malcolm Wells (190508-9105)

The event, called Beer Fest on the Green, will see two days of fun take place this May bank holiday at Sarisbury Green Community Centre in The Green, Sarisbury Green.

Richard Hadley launched Beer Fest along with three friends, after his wife Sue challenged him, saying she believed he could not host his own beer festival.

The group - made up of Richard, Terry Mundy, Mark Gulliford and Matt Emery - refer to themselves as the Silly Old Dads Society, also known as the S.O.D.S. They became friends as their sons attended Locks Heath Primary School.

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Sarisbury Community Centre Picture: Malcolm Wells (190508-9107)

The group decided to host the event at Sarisbury Community Centre as Richard had previously worked there as the youth chairman for the rugby club. As he already knew the members of staff at the centre, a partnership was quickly formed between Richard and Elliott Honey, the chairman of the centre.

The festival will raise funds for the upkeep of the community centre. Sarisbury Green Community Centre is a registered charity which was set up in the 1940s for the people of Sarisbury. The present building was opened in 1965.

Richard, from Locks Heath, said: ‘The community centre is very keen to do community projects. We were going to invest all our own cash, but the community centre has helped us by providing us with the venue, free of charge.

‘It is a fabulous opportunity to do something for the community. I can’t believe how quick it has evolved, from just a joke with my wife to something real in 18 months.

‘Hopefully it can become an annual event if it goes well for us and the community centre. I hope it goes from strength to strength.’

Elliott said: ‘From the centre’s point of view, we are completely self funded, so any event we can get to raise funds is great. When they approached us, we obviously jumped at the chance.’

The festival has also been supported by businesses, particularly EcoSupport, an ecological consulting group in Knowle that oversees housing developments and ensures wildlife and animal habitats are protected.  

Dean Swensson, CEO of EcoSupport, said: ‘It looked like a nice community project to be involved with. We are the main sponsor for the event, helping with furniture, glasses and funding for the festival.’

Beerfest will run across two days at the Sarisbury Green Community Centre. It starts on Friday, May 24, at 5.30pm, with an over-18s night featuring live music from performer Roy Coombes, a vintage singer from Fareham.

Saturday will be open to families, starting at 1.30pm, with a live acoustic set from Harris & Sons  as well as a set from soft rock band the Vagabonds. Both days will see more than 25 different ales and ciders on offer, as well as a hog roast.

Tickets cost £7 on Friday, May 24 and £9 on Saturday, May 25 and include a printed event glass and one drink. To buy go to the centre or online at ticketsource.co.uk/sgcc