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'Cross leafy Hampstead Garden Suburb with a large pinch of volunteers and what do you get?'

PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 June 2014

Proms at St Jude's volunteer Vivien Hilson

Proms at St Jude's volunteer Vivien Hilson

Archant

Take a leafy Garden Suburb, a large pinch of volunteers, a Grade I listed Lutyens church, a prestigious school and mix well. The result is a nine day festival of music and literature which produces at the end a useful cheque for two important charities.

All this takes place over mid-summer week in June.

Book up in advance to listen to world class musicians, hear this year’s top authors discuss their new books over the opening weekend, or wander down to St Jude’s any lunchtime to hear up-and-coming young stars perform at no charge.

Or simply picnic on the square and listen. Our volunteers run cafes too.

The LitFest café produces delicious food throughout the weekend and you can find many of the authors enjoying the buzz between events. The cafes outside the church are humming at lunchtimes and in the evenings for pre-concert and interval refreshments.

Like the proverbial Forth Bridge, work for the proms is continuous.

Almost as soon as it is over, we are meeting again at someone’s house over coffee and biscuits to think about next year.

Will we have performers before the deadline for printing the leaflet? How many changes will there be? How many people can we ask to proofread the leaflets, programmes, posters and banners?

Will the libraries display the leaflets we distribute? Can we persuade local shops to put up posters again? Will the army of stewards, also volunteers, ensure neither performers nor visitors get lost?

We put all this together because we love music and literature, we love the Suburb, we love being able to work locally and we feel the Suburb owns this festival, which for 22 seasons has provided all of us with such enjoyment and such fun.

n For more details or to book tickets, visit promsatstjudes.org.uk or call 020 3322 8123.

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