The Warwick Folk Festival, the annual celebration folk music, now in its 36th year (2015) consists of the usual lively music, Morris dancers, tasty treats and colourful clothes stalls. Since its humble beginnings the Festival has developed into one of the most highly regarded folk events on the national and international scene, attracting fans from all over Britain and as far afield as the USA and Australia. A packed programme at the festival site at Warwick School and in the town centre brings the crowds rolling in their thousands, already due to appear this year is Billy Bragg, Nancy Kerr and the Demon Barbers XL.
Annually, usually around the last weekend in July
2015 – July 23 - 26
Warwick School and Town Centre
(D 25) – “W” class Destroyer
HMS Warwick was an Admiralty 'W' class destroyer built in 1917. The ship saw service in both the First and Second World Wars, before being torpedoed and sunk in February 1944. The W class was a class of destroyer built for the Royal Navy under the War Emergency Programme of the First World War. For their time they were among the most powerful and advanced ships of their type in the world, and set the trend for future British designs.
The Warwick arrived in time to see service in the First World War, during the interwar period she became part of the Royal Navy's destroyer flotillas until being replaced and displaced to the reserve fleet. The Warwick later made an extensive contribution to the Second World War effort in the vital role of convoy escort before being sunk off the coast of Cornwall.
- Historical Travel
This has now become an annual event (2013 was the Ninth) usually staged around the second or third Sunday in July, the Market Square becomes filled with the spiced aromas of eastern cooking and music of the orient. The day itself normally starts with a Buddhist thanksgiving ceremony at 10:15 am with gifts by local Thai people to Buddhist monks at a temple set up in the square for the day. The grand opening is at noon with the festival comprising of Thai culture including Thai dancing, fashion shows, puppet shows, sword fighting demonstrations and Thai boxing. There are also around 60 stalls selling and giving cooking presentations including a range of Thai beers.
Every year there is usually a raffle with the main prize being a trip to Thailand. All proceeds from the festival which is organised by The Rotary Club of Warwick go to good causes in Warwick and those who are in need in Thailand. In 2012 the rotary club helped to fund a dialysis machine for Amnat Charoen in Northern Thailand.
Warwick Market Place
- Arts and Culture
GWR 4073 Castle Class
The GWR 4073 Class or Castle class locomotives are a group of 4-6-0 steam locomotives built by the Great Western Railway. When introduced the Castle Class were heralded as Britain’s most powerful express passenger locomotive, Warwick Castle (Batch 1: 4081) was built at the Swindon Works and made its debut in March 1924, the locomotive was withdrawn in February 1963 and scrapped at Hayes, Bridgend.
The Warwick Mop Fair and Runaway Mop has run for over 400 years and began when King Edward III granted a legal charter that it be held in the town centre. Every year the town has fairground attractions in the town centre and surrounding streets. The Mop was originally a hiring fair for local labourers and employers to meet in a social setting. Workers would be hired for a trial period of a week; hence the Runaway Mop the following weekend allowing either party to back out if they were unhappy with the arrangement. Once the formalities were over, the labourers would spend some of their meagre wage at the stalls gathered for the occasion or the local pubs!
Annually on the first Friday and Saturday following the 12th day of October, believed to be linked to a date in olden times when harvesting was completed. The ‘Runaway Mop’ is held the following Friday and Saturday.
Warwick Market Place
- Family Travel
Father Christmas, entertainment, food and a funfair are just some of the highlights of the ever popular annual Victorian Christmas evening combined with the official switching on of the Christmas lights. Craft, charity and festive food stalls wind through the streets around the market, shopkeepers and stallholders join in the fun by wearing period costumes which visitors are encouraged to judge in the Best Dressed Victorian competition on stage at 7:30. A lantern procession from St. Mary’s Church usually provides a colourful highlight just before the lights are switched on. The Grotto of Giving at the Market Hall Museum is also open on the evening, with people encouraged to donate gifts to be distributed by the county council to less advantaged families. There are also historical ghost tours around Smith Street and both St. Nicholas Church and St. Mary’s Church are open for carols and refreshments.
This year (2010) adding to the festivities there were flame-throwers, ferret races, merry-go-rounds, can-can dancers and carol singers.
Annually, usually around the last Thursday in November
Thursday: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Lights switched on at 7:00 pm
Warwick Market Place