Despite that my daughter and husband were away in sunny South Africa over Halloween, I made my usual pilgrimage to Slindon, a small village near to where we live to attend the annual Pumpkin Festival, started so many years many ago by the original ‘Pumpkin Man’, Ralph Upton.
This year happily, the crop was good, and the display was excellent (last year there was no display due to the excessive rain). Every year, the large and colourful visual display of pumpkins features a theme, this year’s being Cinderella, and created by Two Circles Design, there is video of them creating the display.
However, originally the displays were created by Ralph, who started the tradition in the 1950s’ and which has continued for over 45 years. Ralph passed away in 2009, and the festival has been carried on by his son, Robin and the family. Slindon is a small village in the heart of West Sussex, beautiful and unspoilt, featuring narrow roads, and steep inclines. For the most part it’s quiet and quintessentially rural, then for a few days every year the village is heaving, for people come and visit the festival from all over the world.
There was a fabulous array of pumpkins of every type, and below is a little slideshow of the many different varieties, including some shots of Slindon Pottery where Janet Upton, the daughter in law of the original Pumpkin man, creates lovely ceramic ware, much of it naturally featured around pumpkins.