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Easter apathy hits Hampstead? Only one family attends new Easter bonnet parade

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 April 2013

Winsbury Family at Keats House Easter Bonnet workshop. Pictured left to right, dad Jason, Lara, 7, Mum Sally, and Erin, 4

Winsbury Family at Keats House Easter Bonnet workshop. Pictured left to right, dad Jason, Lara, 7, Mum Sally, and Erin, 4

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Easter apathy appears to have struck Hampstead over the bank holiday weekend as a lone family arrived to celebrate a new Easter Bonnet Parade.

Seema Tilakapala and daughter Vaishali, four, at the Easter bonnet workshop. Picture: Nigel SuttonSeema Tilakapala and daughter Vaishali, four, at the Easter bonnet workshop. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A workshop to make bonnets the day before the Easter Sunday parade at Keats House was well attended at full capacity with more than 20 people joining in.

But on Sunday, when bonnet-wearers were due to parade through the house in Keats Grove modelling their creations, only one family turned up.

Vicky Carroll, curator of Keats House, who helped to organise the event, said: “We were surprised at the low turnout for the Easter Bonnet Parade, especially as we had a busy weekend at Keats House and the Easter bonnet workshop and Easter egg hunt both sold out. Next year we may try holding the Easter bonnet workshop and parade on the same day instead of on consecutive days.”

But with spring slow to arrive this year and time off work at a premium, scheduling may not have been the only factor that affected turnout.

Jill and daughter Elena Barnes, four. Picture: Nigel SuttonJill and daughter Elena Barnes, four. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The rush for holidays in warmer climes reportedly eclipsed traditional Christian Easter celebrations this year and Easter Sunday also coincided with the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.

Hampstead Town councillor Chris Knight, who has lived in the area for 40 years, said wealthy young families have moved into the area in the past decade and tend to go on holiday during school breaks.

He said. “They are usually off skiing or visiting parents who live away. There is literally nobody home except au pairs and dogs. And let’s face it, the weather this year has been so awful. Modern culture seems to be more in favour of pleasure than religion.

‘‘To me that is something I’m not overly keen on as an older member of the community.”

Reverend Stephen Tucke says church congregation numbers were not affetced. Picture: Nigel SuttonReverend Stephen Tucke says church congregation numbers were not affetced. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Jill Barnes, of Belsize Park, whose daughter attended the Easter bonnet workshop, said her family had organised another activity for the children on Easter Sunday.

The family of Sally Winsbury, 43, also of Belsize Park, whose two children made hats at the workshop, had made plans to go to the Boat Race and could not attend the parade.

Father Stephen Tucker, from Hampstead Parish Church, said: “I can only say church attendance was not noticeably less than usual.

“There was a good number of people coming to the church both on Good Friday and on Easter Day.

“There is a lot on in Hampstead for children. All the schools do bonnet parades, so maybe it was just one parade too many.”


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