THE Village Pump Folk Festival has become a firm favourite among revellers in Wiltshire and beyond due to its friendly atmosphere and performances from the finest in folk.

During its 42-year history, which has included three locations, it has grown in popularity and is now a highlight on the festival calendar for many.

It has come a long way since its modest beginning in 1974, when tickets were just £2.50 and the festival made a loss, as organiser John Alderslade recalls.

He said: “A group of eight of us went to a festival in Lacock and decided that Wiltshire needed another one.

“We initially planned to hold it at the Tithe Barn in Bradford on Avon but we ended up hosting it at The Lamb and Civic Centre in Trowbridge instead.

“The atmosphere was excellent. From that year on, crowds began to grow and we eventually outgrew the venue in 1979, so moved to Stowford in 1980. Stowford proved very popular as there was the river there and people could see the castle from their tents.”

The festival’s home is now the White Horse Country Park in Westbury.

Mr Alderslade added: “We love it there and have found our level, attracting about 1,500 people every year.”

“We have a hardcore group of ‘Pumpers’ who come every year. I feel very proud to still be organising it after all these years, watching it grow and develop. I see each year as a tribute to the organisers who have sadly passed away.”

The Village Pump is this weekend (July 22 – 24). Visit