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Littleton-upon-Severn

Littleton-upon-Severn is a village in South Gloucestershire near the mouth of the River Severn and is located to the west of Thornbury.

The village has a church, village hall, post box and public phone box as well as a popular 17th Century pub called The White Hart.

Littleton Brick Pits are an artificial lagoon, once the site of clay extraction for brick making, where the Avon Wildlife Trust have reintroduced reedbeds close to the Severn Estuary, as a feeding and resting place for migrating birds.

Littleton Festival

Since 2004, Littleton has hosted a small music festival for local bands in the summer of each year. The festival has traditionally taken place on the river bank and is always a popular event for people of all ages. In the past the festival has often started around mid-afternoon and has finished around midnight. The stage has traditionally been a large trailer, which in the past has just been sufficient enough for a 5-piece band including the space-consuming drum kit, keyboard and amplifiers. There are also tents for food, a bar, children's games and confectionery and first aid as well as an outdoor 9-pin bowling alley. There is often a raffle and magic show half way through the day.

The idea came from Jon Swift, singer and guitarist from village band, This 'n' That. At that time the village church roof needed to be replaced and so all the profits from the festival were given to the church roof fund. The festival was named Littleton Annual Festival of Fun (LAFF), although a second festival was not planned at that time.

The event was such a success, that the organisers planned a second festival for 2005. This time, Jane Gulliver took over from Jon as lead organiser and the profits were divided so that some money went into the next festival and the rest was put into a fund to buy a marquee for future village events. The festival was renamed Littleton Festival.

Littleton Festival is now officially in its fourth year. The organisation of the event for 2007 has been resumed by Jon Swift, joined by Debbie Parsons. The new organisers have decided not to run the festival in its traditional form and are 'down-sizing' for a year, instead holding a night of Music in the Marquee. This decision was taken due to problems financing a full scale festival.

The Village Hall

Excluding the pub, the village hall is the focal point for many in the village.

Committee

The Village Hall Committee was set up to look after the village hall, by collecting money and maintaining the building. The current chairman is Jim Turton (2006-2007).

Activities

The village hall committee often host many activities during each year. These include American village suppers, guest talks and presentations, small concerts, wine-tasting and many more different events. In the past, the hall has also been used for private functions such as band practices and children's parties.

This 'n' That

This 'n' That are a band traditionally for Littleton musicians. The band was started in early 2002 by Jon Swift and originally had 5 members (a keyboard, two electric guitars, one acoustic guitar, one drum-kit). In the past they have described themselves as Littleton's musically-challenged band. The band play a variety of different styles of music ranging from old favourites to modern-day rock as well as composing a few of their own tracks.

This 'n' That have performed annually in village events and hosted the 2004 Littleton Festival (then the Littleton Annual Festival of Fun).

Band Members

Name Instrument(s) Joined Left Reason for leaving
Jane Gulliver Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar 2002
Debbie Parsons Singer 2003 2007 equestrian pursuits
Simon Pigott Drums 2003
Amanda Stagg Keyboard 2004 2006 too busy
Jon Swift Singer, Electric Guitar 2002
Ailie Turton Drums 2002 2003 temporary member
Jack Turton Drums 2002 2002 lost interest
Tom Turton Keyboard, Trumpet 2002 2005 moved to Plymouth
Adam Silcock Electric Guitar 2005
Terry ...(?) Acoustic Guitar 2002 2002 moved away
Robyn Taylor Vocals 2007

Millennium Record

The Littleton Millennium Record was a project to record and distribute visual and literal information about the village including its history, so that future villagers and historians can look back and see the village as it was at the beginning on the 21st Century. The book was put together by the Village Hall committee in 2000 and free copies were given to every household in the village. A video documentary was also produced for the record, but was expanded when Foot and mouth disease reached the village. The documentary was directed by Chris Parsons and Produced by David Wilkins and was finished and distributed throughout the village in 2002(?).

History

The Whale

The village became famous on 15 January 1885 when a whale was stranded on the river shore there. That area of the village has since been named Whale Wharf.

Whale Wharf Business Park

Somewhat surprisingly for such a rural area, there was a factory beside Whale Wharf producing machines for fabricating microchips. The factory, 'Electrotech' has now been moved to larger premises elsewhere.

References

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