April 12, 2013

History

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Historical Chapel Allerton Festivals

The history of the current Chapel Allerton Festival goes back to 1997 but this is just the latest form of community celebration that our village has seen.

For centuries the Chapeltown Feast was held on the moor in autumn, the last surviving piece of which is now home to Football, Cricket and Rugby pitches either side of Scott Hall road. Travelling fair rides and shows continued to pitch up there until the early 1960s.

In the late 20s and early 30s the streets of Chapel Allerton also saw annual parades and carnivals, with crowds following bands as they marched round the village to the recreation ground. These wonderful images show that Regents Street, where we have the current festival, was a venue for the community to come together and party over 80 years ago. Closing streets and listening to music has a long and honourable history in this part of the village.

In the late 1970s much of what we think of as the heart of Chapel Allerton today was threatened with demolition and massive redevelopement. In banding together to fight these plans a new sense of community began to emerge and a festival grew up on the Recreation Ground or Chapel Allerton Park as it is also known. Today the same venue plays host to Picnic in the Park.

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