The organisers have decided to abandon Swakeleys House on the edge of the village at the 11th hour, and move the gala day event and evening concert to Vyners School, after long-running negotiations with the agents of the owner proved fruitless.
The gala day and concert are part of the ‘larger’ Ickenham Festival which happens every other year, and have been a focal point of the week-long event since 1976.
All other events in this year’s festival, from June 7-15, will go ahead as planned, and on June 14 tickets already purchased for Swakeleys House will be honoured at Vyners, in Warren Road.
Doug Neilson, vice-chariman of the organising committee, said: “We are very thankful for the rapid response by headteacher James Heale at Vyners School, and his governors, who are working with us now to relocate the afternoon gala and evening concert to the school grounds.
“These grounds are only one third of a mile from Swakeleys House, but somewhat smaller; there is much planning work to be done.”
Mr Neilson said the dispute was about access and setup; the agent for CES Properties (Ickenham) Ltd has insisted that no vehicles could come on to the grounds of the Grade I-listed, 17th century mansion, nor could a PA system be set up. The traditional end-of-evening fireworks were banned, too.
Mr Neilson said discussions will continue about a return to Swakeleys House next year.
The landlord’s agent has been asked for a response.
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