Hereford Paralympian hero Sascha Kindred OBE was treated to a warm homecoming celebration along the picturesque River Wye which flows through the middle of the Hereford City Centre
I popped over to the Left Bank on Saturday (albeit a bit late) expecting the party to be over. The honour guard from Hereford Swimming Club had been and gone, the speeches had finished and all the carnival crafts from the Hereford River Carnival organisers had been crafted and put away. But what I found was a busy and vibrant courtyard outside De Koffie Pot with wonderful live music emanating from the Bandstand Stage courtesy of Sam Huffer and a plethora of happy children having a good jig thanks to the ever impressive organising efforts of John Steven Hales.
The Beefy Boys were still plying their wares (which I did enjoy, thank you very much- a Blue Boy and fries, yum), and the bar was still very much open for a great range of cider and real ale. Following the beautiful sounds of Sam was Robin Shaw with his Ukelele and Kazoo double whammy. Excellent fun to listen to and ‘Smoke on the Water’ will truly never, ever be the same again. The tone changed somewhat as Shannon Walker took to the stage with her haunting melodies, wrapped up by the Mayor Jim Kenyon giving a quick thank you to everyone involved before the excitement of the fireworks. And Oh! What fireworks! The boys at Niteforce Fireworks put on a spectacular show, lasting for what seemed like hours. So beautiful!
The celebrations were concluded by the ever impressive Freeborn Rising with their political-folk sounds. I was astounded that Thorin could even get on stage with his horrendous hangover from the previous nights gig- hats off to that man!
I had a fantastic evening in the company of many different people from many walks of life- I met a couple who had slept rough the night before to raise awareness for the homeless, even though they had a perfectly functional home, I chatted with the Mayor and the boys from Nightforce and met Sascha and Nyree Kindred and their beautiful daughter Ella.
It’s nights like this that make Hereford the beautiful and diverse place to live that it is.
Article Written by Nickie Bates
Photography by Nickie Bates
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