EIGHTIES punk star Toyah Willcox topped the bill at a village festival near Marlborough that attracted music lovers all the way from London.

Families picnicked, children played games and locals caught up with the gossip as laid-back MantonFest treated them to a day of music that featured an international tribute act Creedence Clearwater Revived and sets by bands like Josie and the Outlaw, The Clive Collective and local outfit Barrelhouse, who this week reached number 20 in the blues charts.

One of the organisers, Roger Grant, said he thought the event was the best yet. “All through the day there was just such a happy atmosphere. It was absolutely unbelievable.”

Everything went like clockwork, which he said was a relief for the small committee and the band of villagers who help out on the day. “It is getting bigger and it is still the same committee of five who run it all.”

Run for the past six years, this year the day was raising money for the village hall, which is undergoing work to renovate the toilets.

He wasn’t able to say how much would be handed over because final bills for the festival were being paid, but he said: “They will get several thousands.”

Roger, who used to enjoy going to prom concerts in the park when he lived in Kent, said the aim was to provide a relaxed festival where people could take their own food and drink if they wanted.

“It’s for families, not the hardened festivalgoer,” he said.

He and festival music director Stuart Whant managed to get Toyah through a friend who runs an agency. “I knew she would be a great performer.

“She was electric, she really lit up the field. Normally when it gets to 10pm or so, families with young children begin to clear off. But they didn’t. They stayed.”

In fact she was so popular that when her set was over her crew were slightly concerned the crowd was so thick she might not be able to get off the stage.

But said Roger: “She was very easy going – just like one of the boys.”

Planning has already started for next year’s event and the committee hopes it already has a headline act in the bag.