The end of summer is always marked by a traditional community event that has been held in Old Leigh Town for almost half a century – The Old Leigh Regatta which this year is again run by The Lions Club of Leigh on Sea in conjunction with the Scouts from Old Leigh.
Over the years, the Regatta has changed but although old favourites like the greasy pole and bowsprit fighting have succumbed to the health and safety brigade, the Leigh Regatta has lost none of its old fashioned charm and the scouts will still be out on the mud having fun with their tug-o-war and welly hoying exploits and destroying china by the ton with the Krazy Kitchen whilst their colleagues will be taking part in numerous water-borne activities in the estuary.
Children have always been an important part of Regatta and as well as the traditional favourites like Punch & Judy, there will be face painting, the Princess Gatherings, Story Telling from June Wells, the Lions’ Pig Race and a pirate-themed competition run by the Art Ministry.
There will be range of stalls and stands offering hot and cold, sweet and savoury delights which can be washed down with a cool glass of prosecco or a local refreshing beer from one of the two real ale bars. There’s even an alcoholic lollipop stall !
Music and dance have featured at Leigh Regatta forever and this year, as well as the cream of local bands, there will be local clog dancers and at least four shanty crews to give the event that salty touch. Don’t miss the Shanty Extravaganza Finale at the Mayflower Arena.
Perhaps the best part of the Old Leigh Regatta is that its free for the public to attend and free for local non-profit making organisations to show the community what they are about.
It all starts around 10.30 am on Sunday 9th September with the opening service from Leigh Salvation Army.
So “Down, down won’t you come down to the Old Leigh Town Regatta ?” as local songwriter Jack Forbes once wrote.