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1/2 page advert The Vegan Spring 1992

SIXTH INTERNATIONAL VEGAN FESTIVAL

The Sixth International Vegan Festival will be held in Britain from 1st to 8th August 1992. This event will be a combination of conference and holiday, and will include lectures, workshops, videos, games, yoga, folk singing and dancing, visits to places of interest and more! It will take place at a vegetarian yoga centre half hour's train journey north of London.

Subjects for lectures and workshops will be: Campaining for Animals, The Environment, Agriculture and the Third World, Health and Nutrition, and Veganism in an Omnivorous World. Speakers include: Mark Gold, Joyce D'Silva, Dr. Alan Long, Kathleen Jannaway, Dr. David Ryde and Dr. Gill Langley.

The cost is expected to be between £1.40 and £220 for the full week, depending on type of accommodation.
Places are limited, non-residents also welcome. ALL PARTICIPANTS, INCLUDING DAY-VISITORS, MUST BOOK IN ADVANCE.
For fiurther details, please send SAE to the address below:
[redacted]

HELP WANTED!

Anyone living within reasonable distance of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, and able to accommodate one or more vegans during the week of 1-8 August is asked to contact Barbara Gamsa-Jackson on 0245 359534 as soon as possible. She especially needs to find free accommodation for some Eastern European delegates in order for them to be able to attend.
[drawing of the building included].


SIXTH INTERNATIONAL VEGAN FESTIVAL
ENGLAND
1-9 AUGUST 1992
ICKWELL BURY, BEDFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND

Vegan Society Local Contact Winifred Winton offers a delegates impression . . .

The whole week was an overwhelming success from start to finish, thanks mainly to the organizing skills of Barbara-Gamsa-Jackson, the speakers who were obviously masters of their subjects, and last but not least, the marvellous vegan food served.

Also the enthusiam of the visitors who had come from sixteen different countries, including the first ten campers on the lawn who struggled to put up their tents against a strong west wind to the 'overflow' few who were lodging at guest houses in the village. They had to walk two miles each way daily to get to the manor house.

A talk was given by Howard Kerr, the director of the Yoga for Health Foundation (the venue). He told us the main part of the house dated from 1688 and the barn where the talks were given may have been older. The 300 year old estate clock still chimed, tinny yet melodious, and in certain parts of the house the thump of it's pulley system could be heard.

The entrance hall had been turned into an interesting shop with a selection of cookery books, tee shirts, car stickers and Weleda goods for sale. Through this cam a steady stream of newcomers asking for directions. Many told horrific stories of being held up on the motorway and asked if they were late? "No, come in and have supper!"

Then the week got under way with an exciting mixture of talks videos and demonstrations. Michael O'Connell rigged his huge nettle grinder up to show us how to make nutritious pulp flavoured with lemon which could be used to feed the Third World, and an impromptu demonstration of how to make a perfect non-stick vegan pancake was held in the marquee. There was a show of non-leather shoes by the Italian firm of Pada Kamala, and Bill Russell told us how he had, with great difficulty, perfected a way to make non-animal strings for violins he produces in hs workshop in Manchester.

Brave

Louise Wallis told us how she bravely worked under cover to make a video of the activities of the animal research laboratories. Kathleen Jannaway showed a useful video of how to grow crops of vegetables in combination with nature. Dr. Alan Long told of animal abuse in food production. Compassion in World Farming showed a video about the suffering endured by animals on the way to the slaughterhouse. These and much more made the week rush by.

On Sunday fourteen more campers arrived to pitch their tents on the lawn. They had to compete for space with a number of molehills. The wind had dropped, leaving us with a cloudless blue sky and brilliant sunshine, and many took their meals out onto the stone terrace to eat, where a number of wasps flew in to join the feast. No one was stung as with vegan gentleness they were ushered away or left alone. There were animated discussions at meal times which went on until the next lecture when there was a general exodus to the barn.

A few preferred to meditate in the peace of the rose garden. Occasionally a solitary person could be seen sitting on the steps which led down to the lake which was surrounded by woodland. They had only to wait and wild life would appear all around them.

Tree Planting

By Thursday there were thirty-four cars in the courtyard and a number of young children had arrived. It was pleasant to see them playing games on the lawn and to know they had started their lives off as vegans. The molehills had not inceased in number so it seemed the moles had gone elsewhere to wait until they could get their territory back. The cloudy weather of the previous two days had gone by Thursday and the hot sun taken over. A Morrella cherry tree was planted against the west wall in the rose garden and there was a touching ceremony as a number of people gathered round in a hand-holding semi-circle. Most, if not all, will never return here and it is nice to know that we have left a little of ourselves.

On Friday evening there was lively Scottish dancing on the lawn to the accordion followed by circle dancing to taped music under the guidance of Marga Schukking.

Then came Saturday, the last day. The breakfast room had a different atmosphere now, as people were hastily scribbling down addresses and saying goodbyes. In the lounge the tape of 'The Future is Beautiful' was playing and many people at their breakfast there, listening to the music. There were goodbye hugs in the corridor, each nationality having its own style of hugging.

Then suitcases were dragged about, cars went, taxis came and people disappeared, The big house became empty and silent and the moles will no doubt take up occupancy of the lawn again. The house had gained another not insignificant piece to add to its long history - the vegans have been there.

The clock will continue to tell the hour for the next three hundred years - perhaps by the the whole world will have become vegan.

The Festival organizer Barbara Gamsa-Jackson adds:

As this year's International Vegan Festival was the first such event to be held in Britain, we were pleased to welcome so many participants and to recive press coverage. Including speakers and stall holders, there were nearly 170 participants from 16 countries (Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA).

Coverage of the event appeared in: The Independent, The Spectator, The Daily Mail, Classical Music, and the Biggleswade Chronicle (a full and sympathetic report). Radio coverage included: Radio 4 ('Woman's Hour'), four different World Service Programmes, Greater Manchester Radio and Radio Bedford. Some of the video film taken by the SIVF participants at their visit to a livestock market on the Wednesday may be used in a Channel 4 television documentary next year,

Thanks are due to the other organizations and individuals who gave us financial and other help: The Vegan Society for its loan to book the venue, and whose staff and Council were helpful and supportive in many ways; the Yoga for Health Foundation for offering us special rates and for coping cheerfully with the influx of visitors for the week at the centre; Maxwell Lee of the International Vegetarian Union and the Vegetarian Charity for sponsoring Eastern Europeans and helping with their travel arrangements; Bill Russell for booking members of the Bingham Quartet; all the stall holders (including Country Life London, Food for a Future, Ploughshares and Vegetarian Information); and in addition Plamil Foods and Vegetarian Shoes for donations.

I would also like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed their invaluable help in organizing the event, and in particular Vegans International Contacts for publicity abroad, Alan Long and Jonathan Fritter for help with UK media publicity, our team of helpers and translators ('official' and unofficial) who assisted at the event itself, and last but not least the SIVF Committee; Rick Savage, John Wintrip, and my husband Lindsay.

A full report of the lecutres can be read in the Autumn 1992 Vegan Views.


from Vegan Views:

6th International Vegan Festival

England, Bedfordshire, Biggleswade, Ickwell Bury - 1-9 August 1992

Organised by Barbara Gamsa-Jackson.

The first such event to be held in Britain. Including speakers and stall holders, there were nearly 170 participants from 16 countries (Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA).

Press coverage of the event appeared in: The Independant, The Spectator, The Daily Mail, Classical Music, and The Biggleswade Chronicle (A full and sympathetic report). Radio coverage included: Radio 4 (Woman's Hour), 4 different World Service Programmes, Greater Manchester Radio and Radio Bedford.

The whole week was an overwhelming success from start to finish, thanks mainly to the organizing skills of Barbara Gamsa-Jackson, the speakers who were obviously masters of their subjects, and last but not least, the marvelous vegan food served.

Also, the enthusiasm of the visitors who had come from 16 different countries, including the first 10 campers on the lawn who struggled to put up their tents against a strong wind to the overflow few who were lodging at guesthouses in the village. They had to walk 2 miles each way daily to get to the manor house.

A talk was given by Howard Kent, the director of the Yoga for Health Foundation (the venue). He told us the main part of the house dated from 1688 and the barn where the talks were given may have been older. The 300 year old estate clock still chimed, tinny melodious, and in certain parts of the the house the thump of it's pully system could be heard.

The entrance hall had been turned into an interesting shop with a selection of cookery books, tee shirts, car stickers and Weleda goods for sale. Through this came a steady stream of newcomers asking for directions. Many told horrific stories of being held up on the motorway and asked if they were late? "No, - come in and have supper!".

Then the week got under way with an exciting mixture of talks, videos, and demonstrations. Michael O'connell rigged his huge nettle grinder up to show us how to make nutritious pulp flavoured with lemon which could be used to feed the 3rd World, and an impromptu demonstration of how to make a perfect non-stick vegan pancake was held in the marquee. There was a show of non-leather shoes by the Italian firm of Pada Kamala, and Bill Russell told us how he had, with great difficulty, perfected a way to make non-animal strings for violins he produces in his workshop in Manchester.

Louise Wallis told of how she bravely worked under cover to make a video of the activities of the animal researh laboratories. Kathleen Jannaway showed a useful video of how to grow crops of vegetables in combination with nature. Dr. Alan Long told of animal abuse in food production. Compassion in World Farming showed a video about the suffering endured by animals on the way to the slaughterhouse. These and much more made the week rush by.

On Sunday, 14 more campers arrived to pitch their tents on the lawn. They had to compete for space with a number of mole hills. The wind had dropped leaving us with a cloudless blue sky and brilliant sunshine, and many took their meals out onto the stone terrace to eat, where a number of wasps flew in to join the feast. No one was stung as with vegan gentleness they were ushered away or left alone. There were animated discussions at meal times which went on until the next lecture when there was a general exodus to the barn.

A few prefered to meditate in the peace of the rose garden. Occasionally a solitary person could be seen sitting on the steps which led down to the lake which was surrounded by woodland. They had only to wait and wildlife would appear all around them.

By thursday there were 34 cars in the courtyard and a number of young children had arrived. It was pleasant to see them playing games on the lawn and to know they had started their lives off as vegans.

A Morella cherry tree was planted against the west wall in the rose garden and there was a touching ceremony as a number of people gathered around in a hand-holding semi-circle.

- Edited article from The Vegan, Winter 1992. (For a full report of the lectures see Vegan Views Autumn 1992).

International Vegan Festivals Index