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  • Writer's pictureThe Bridge Burford

Burford Festival New Chairman

I am delighted to let you know that the Burford Festival Trustees met in late November to consider applications for funding and to approve disbursements to a wide range of community projects and initiatives. In addition to contributions towards the fireworks and Christmas lights reported earlier, the 2019 Festival has now supported:

- Burford 2020 Tree Challenge, for the 2020 Tree Planting Project

- Burford Baptist Church, towards the installation of toilet facilities inside the church

- Burford Children's Activity Week, towards an activity programme for school children during summer holiday

- Burford School, towards staging, lighting and costumes for a school drama production

- Burford Scout Group, for tents for the venture scouts and benches for the scout hut

- Burford Singers, towards their new staging project

- Burford Town Council, towards the signage for the weight limit through Burford

- Falkland Trust, towards building costs for the Burford Archive

- Friday Focus, to improve the quality and variety of food for lunches for the elderly

- Friends of Burford Primary School, to repair and re-instate the Burford Dragon

- The Bridge Magazine, for printing and related costs

- Windrush Against Sewage Pollution (WASP), towards laboratory analysis, sampling, transport and reporting costs.

This has only been possible through your support by attending events, subscribing as a Friend or Benefactor or sponsoring events as a business (plus the reasonable weather assuring us of a good attendance at the Open Gardens). Thank you all very much for enabling us to support all the organisations that applied to us for funding.

I have now been chairman of the last four festivals, and the time has come to hand over to a new chairman to build on our success and bring new ideas into play. I am delighted to let you know that the trustees have invited Bill Risebero to take over from me, and that he is keen and willing to take the Festival forward.

Bill is not a newcomer to the Festival – he and his wife Christine produced our theatrical contribution ‘Letters from Broadway’, and opened their garden as part of the Open Gardens weekend. Bill practised as an architect and urban planner for 20 years or so, and published three books on the subject, before turning to teaching. For eight years he ran the BSc Architecture course at the University of East London and for another three the multi-disciplinary BA Arts and Design course at Central Saint Martins.

One of Bill’s key interests is drama. Since 1980 he has acted regularly in both the amateur and professional theatre in Britain and France, has directed 16 shows, including Beckett, Brecht and Shakespeare, and has written three plays, all performed in London.

(Photo Credit – Jason Warner)

With his background and interests, I am sure that Bill will bring a new slant to the Festival. I would like to reassure you (as I have Bill) that I am not turning my back on the Festival, and I will be available to support as necessary, in whatever way is most helpful to him and the 2021 committee.

Hugo Ashton, Burford Festival 2019 Organising Committee


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