Monday, 4 December 2017

Hampstead Christmas Festival 2017

On Sunday our local Village of Hampstead put on their annual Christmas Festival
after taking a year off after no one was prepared to take on the event in 2016. And yet
upon it's welcomed return we were promised a bigger and better event with more performers
and not only one but, as 'The Ham & High' announced, at least four or five performances
stages dotted around the Street venue. In fact visitors to the event were quite shocked
to discover no stages at all. And there was no visiting local celebrities there to switch
on the Christmas lights. It really was quite a small affair despite the promise of
it being bigger and better than ever. It was as though the event had gone back to
it's roots when it was just a small affair. One wonders what the letters in this week's
Ham & High are going to say having been promised so much. There was also no
Fun Fair with the Big Wheel. And the entire length of the event stretched down
Hampstead High street to half the length it normally took up.

The one street performer we saw had the whole Village High Street to himself.
But I couldn't help noticing that in the local media that the build up to the event
was very low key. Nowhere could we find any news of who the visiting local
celebrity would be that would come and switch on the lights which lead me to
believe that things were going to be different.
The central main Stage area was badly missing. So there was no event announcers,
no performers and no rock and pop groups to keep the crowds entertained.
The very things that previously drew in the crowds from all over London.

But still, the event is back even if it was in a small way. Perhaps from here it will
grow again.

The Hampstead & Highgate local newspaper also announced last week that
the Summer outdoor Concerts at Kenwood will be returning at long last after
a three year gap. So that's good news for locals.
Above: Now here's a novel idea. It's actually a former London Telephone kiosk that is now
a coffee shop right in the middle of Hampstead High Street. And it was the idea
of Umar Khalid. Understandably he has been having problems with the local
Council over having to pay for a new street licence rather than a regular retail
Kiosk licence which would apparently increase his costs to extortionate levels.

I briefly stopped by to say hello and congratulate him on still hanging on there
having followed his story in our local newspaper THE HAM & HIGH. But silly ol' me
I forgot to take Umar's picture along with his partner Alona.
Amazingly the couple recently won a London Time Out Award for their unusual
coffee bar. And they've certainly had a lot of support from Hampstead locals.


  1. Wasn't it that it became too successful that it was dropped? I expect it was intended to keep it a little low key and mainly for local people. St Kilda Festival here is over two days, but it has turned into a draw card for people all over Melbourne, who flood the suburb. Meanwhile local people grumble and leave the area if they can.

  2. Andrew, It was a complete mystery why the new organisers promised so much. Perhaps there were many last minute cancellations. Or maybe they realized that by having just a small intimate affair the that would keep the out of Towner's away.
    I wonder if your event might eventually go the same way.
    But at leat we had something to go and see

  3. Very nice pics Dee! Well maybe smaller is better, at least for the locals!! The same here! The Christmas festivals smaller less every thing Oh well!!

    1. Pete, At least we're greatful that they put something on for us locals.
      Of course it's all about budgets and costs. Not all local Councils can
      afford such events.

  4. I'm surprised some of London's anti-Christmas councils haven't tried to ban Christmas all together. In case it might offend someone. These people will never be satisfied til everyone is as miserable as they are. But in the meantime, nice images and better without snow I feel. - Ian

  5. Ian, Thankfully it wasn't cold as can often be the case. But yes, lots of Councils are cutting back. Of course we must blame our criminal politicians who are strangling our Councils with even tighter budgets so that the C**TS at The Treasury can throw all our many away on their obscene Foreign Aid programs.

    Yes, If the BBC (British Bollocks Corporation... one of my nicer descriptions) had their way, they'd probably ban Christmas what with their pandering to their preferred religious groups. Each year now they put up the big Newsroom Tree Tree later and later, just a few days before Xmas... you imagine so as not to offend and distract other religious groups that don't really identify with this time of the year. Oh someone please disband the BBC.

    In my blog links you'll see the site 'Is the BBC Biased.' But they should have added to the name... 'Is The Pope Catholic?'

    I remember a while back how a group of Muslims had wormed their way on to a sitting Council in the East End of London. And they personally decided that there should be no Friday night evening public stripping at the gay pub The White Swan. I mean what's going on here. This is our Country for us to decide what we can and cant do!

    I just worry that Christmas is shrinking in it's annual visibility. Thankfully Our West End is ablaze in seasonal colour.

  6. Oh someone please disband the BBC.

    You'd miss David Attenborough if they did. - Ian

  7. Xmas is Xmas for Xmas people. For some Christians, it is Happy Birthday Jesus, with lawn signs announcing such as such For other Christians, it a celebrating of the Birth of Jesus. For many, Xmas is simply a HOLIDAY, F all the religious stuff. Being that CHRISTMAS is of Christian origin, Islamists, Hiduists, Budddhaists, et alia & et cetera, insist on THEIR holidays being as official and religious, or not, as XMAS. The USA even has a Black Afro-American version of the Holiday, white people not welcome. Thus, HAPPY HOLIDAY, not MERRY XMAS. Nor, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, which implies more than one. There is the Spanish & Mexican version. There is also the HAPPY NEW YEAR quintic, Official Astronomic, Christian, Jewish, Chinese, Islamic, different versions of moon years, as if it matters. BUT it stops not there. It does matter to enough people that it now is a political matter. No other OFFICIAL holidays in the USA are of Christian origin (that is, no other holiday off, maybe with pay, or time and a half work, double time work, triple time work, depending, for a few ). XMAS is now more than a ''mere'' holiday. [Nobody complains about THANKSGIVING, a George Washington create holiday in USA, a time for a DAY OFF/off with pay/time+half work/double time work/triple time work, depending, for some, not most]
    --- For example, the assert that Rudolph the Red Nose must be a female. A USA FEM-DOM Women's Liberation thing. F all XMAS HAPPY HOLIDAY and h a p p y tradition. This shows that it is not outsiders insidiously invading any culture, but, the inside of the culture is now transforming itself, even, for some, erasing the culture.
    --- HAPPY HOLIDAY. [Evidence of cultural transform : NOTE : land lord takes my singular holiday decorate, a jingle bells wreath, off the out side of the front door, and, puts it behind a dirty window. She is a white as me USA oldster, but, obviously idiotic. Just now put it back.]
    --- Have a good time. OFFICIALLY yield [not ''give'', OH ! NO !] the day off. πŸΈπŸ’―