King Harold Day recognized as the Best Event in Essex

King Harold Day has become acknowledged as an important part of the annual Close up of Best Tourism Event awardcalendar in the town of Waltham Abbey, and now that has been recognized further as the medieval festival has won the Best Event award at the 2010 Essex Tourism Awards.

The award was announced last Thursday evening at the Essex Tourism Awards Dinner, held at acclaimed restaurant, Le Talbooth, at Dedham in North Essex. 

King Harold Day had already been shortlisted into the final three for the Best Event or Festival Award, and at the Awards Ceremony Tricia Gurnett, Chairman and Organizer of King Harold Day, received the trophy from Digipix, its sponsor.  Tricia was accompanied to the dinner by Tony O’Connor, Curator of Epping Forest District Museum and a member of the King Harold Day Committee, and Kathryn Richmond, Town Clerk of Waltham Abbey. 

Now King Harold Day goes forward to the 2010 East of England Regional Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, having been chosen as a finalist there, which will be held at Ickworth in November.   

Tricia Gurnett said:-  “We are quite overwhelmed and honoured to have been chosen as the Best Event in Essex.  King Harold Day was thought up eight years ago by a few friends in Waltham Abbey who wanted to increase recognition of the town’s heritage, and particularly that King Harold was Lord of the Manor of Waltham.  We felt his place in history as the last Saxon King of England should be promoted.    In its first year the event had 3,000 visitors.   Now that has increased to 6,000 and our visitors come from many different parts of the country.  

“I’m sure that what helped us to win the award is that, in addition to putting on a really great event, we have built up strong links with other places in the Harold story:  Fulford, Stamford Bridge and Hastings in England and Bayeux and Falaise in Normandy, and we obtained Heritage Lottery funding to provide the interpretation boards around the Abbey and Abbey Gardens, which have very much improved tourists’ appreciation of the history of the site.

“The regional awards will cover the whole of East Anglia, which will mean we shall be up against places like Cambridge and Norwich with all their tourism attractions.  The awards criteria suggest places should have a footfall of about 20,000 at events so we have some way to go before we reach that, but you never know!   

“I want to thank our small committee of eight who make King Harold Day happen, all the other friends who help us on the day, and Lee Valley Regional Park, Waltham Abbey Town Council, Epping Forest District Museum and Waltham Abbey Church, all of whom have been involved from the start and have given us tremendous support during the last eight years.   Finally, of course, we thank all our visitors who have made the event what it is today   –   the best in Essex.   Come and see us at this year’s King Harold Day on Saturday 16th October in the Abbey Gardens.”

Published in: on September 27, 2010 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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