We started the blog with a request to search for the missing 1973 Hackney Marsh Fun Festival poster. Now, one year older and wiser, we realise the festival started in 1974 and there was never a 1973 poster.
We are returning to celebrate the festival with a couple of clips and wish you a good summer. Looking forward to seeing you in the autumn for the film screenings.
During the many years that the Festival took place, hundreds of performers, bands and circus acts appeared throughout the weekend. Some of the acts that come to mind are the Great Indian dancers, a huge and exciting dance group of Sikh ‘Warriors’ who made you hold your breath as their swords flashed dangerously close to each other, The Greatest Show on Legs, a hilarious and daring group of men who performed ‘The Balloon Dance’ in the nude, always threatening to show what was behind the balloons, until they finally did, and Prof. Tommy Shand, who had a trail of kids following him as he tramped around the field playing his saxophone that produced bubbles from its horn.
A lot of local reggae and ska bands arrived, some quite famous like ‘Black Slate’, and local heroes 7th Heaven, and of course the wonderful ‘Jah Globe’. A church service always started the Sunday festivities and the fun started again. It was not unusual to see and hear a Punk Band competing with the Hackney Philharmonic Orchestra, or a gospel choir next to a raunchy jazz singer. In the food area, Indian Curries, vegetarian food and West Indian delights vied with Jellied Eels and Cockles, and Nye Bevan Tenants never ever let us down by providing a good old cup of tea and a game of Bingo.
See here for the recollections of the HMFF from Brian Walker.