The tractors are twitching. The pumpkins are plump. It’s the Hampshire Harvest weekend (4th & 5th October), and Winchester Cathedral is throwing a free weekend of family-oriented events celebrating the County’s food and farming. Entry into the Cathedral is free all weekend too. Displays and activities include Kidsroam mobile farm, horse and carriage rides, vintage farming machinery, a static falconry display, the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Pod, poultry displays and a vintage fairground organ. The Harvest event is held in partnership with Hampshire Farmers Market, Sparsholt College, The New Forest Show and Hampshire County Council.
To laugh off some of the root vegetables, The Winchester Comedy Festival is running from 2nd – 5th October at the Discovery Centre, The Theatre Royal and The Railway. There’s a brochure available here, but some of the headline acts are sold out so make sure you have booked in advance.
Speaking of witty folk, the absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley will be in conversation with John Miller at Winchester Cathedral on 21st October at 7.30pm, followed by a drinks reception. Tickets are available to book online at £15 or £10 for Friends of the Cathedral. The evening will raise money to save the medieval stained glass windows in the building.
The Minster Gallery will be presenting work from The Society of Women Artists (founded in 1857) from 10th October until 10th November. Celebrating contemporary female talent in oil painting, water colour, sculpture, printing and ceramics, entry is free and it’s a great excuse to pop down to the Square for a post-exhibition drink at The Old Vine. The Discovery Centre will be opening the exhibition Trench Coat: From Field to Fashion on 4th October, which is running until 21st December. Introduced by Hilary Alexander OBE, the fascinating theme will explore everything and anything trench coat-related, from the more traditional WW1 calvary garb to such filmic connections as Marlene Dietrich in Billy Wilder’s A Foreign Affair.
Later in the month you can get in the mood for Halloween by joining Supernatural Tours on a guided tour of Winchester’s ghostly past, 28th October 7.30pm – 8.30pm, starting at the Royal Oak. Alternatively, if you pop into Winchester City Mill on the 31st October you can bake some Halloween-themed biscuits and treats using their own freshly milled stone-ground flour, combined with other local produce.
Happy harvest one and all.