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Successful N21 Festival in Winchmore Hill could return next year, says organiser Ann Humphrey
The organiser of a festival held in Winchmore Hill for the first time last week says she would “love to” make it an annual fixture.
Teacher Ann Humphrey, who organised the N21 Festival with her husband Hugh, said the enthusiasm for the week-long programme of events from local people and business was “mindblowing”, after the couple came up with the idea late last year.
The week culminated in a fair on June 23, which marked 100 years since local author Henrietta Cresswell wrote the book Winchmore Hill: Memories of a Lost Village, which described a ‘fancy fair’ that used to take place on the green during the 19th Century.
Mrs Humphrey told the Enfield Independent that more than 8,000 people had attended at least one of the 110 events during the week, far more than she ever anticipated.
She said: “We just thought everything seemed to be doom and gloom with the riots, shops closing, and that kind of thing, and we thought the Green would lend itself to a little festival like we’ve seen elsewhere in London.
“We put the idea out there and then all these people started phoning up and coming on board, and it just grew.
“It was mindblowing and we were pretty bowled over to be honest. We had a dream of what we wanted and how we wanted it, and it turned out to be the dream and better.”
Events included the first N21 Film Festival, which featured local directors and short films, historical walks around Winchmore Hill, an art and photography exhibition, and children’s entertainment.
The ‘fancy fair’ on Saturday was full of stalls run by local traders between 10am-7pm, and First Capital Connect put on free trains from nearby areas to allow people to attend car-free.
Organisers made a time-lapse video of the first hour of Saturday's fair
Mrs Humphrey added: “I remember looking up during the afternoon and The Green was a sea of people, and I thought ‘wow’.
“People started arriving and then they stayed, the shops and stalls took double what they thought they would and the atmosphere was just lovely.
“It took over my life and it was all done after work, but it was 100 times worth it, we could have done it three times over.”
Profit from the festival will be given to the National Autistic Society, the Alzheimer’s Society and Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.
And asked whether the celebrations would return next year, Mrs Humphrey said: “Yes probably, I don’t think we can leave it there.
“I don’t think we can do hundreds of things happening in a week, but I think I’d love to do the fancy fair again.”