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Our annual October Festival on Sunday 4th October 2009, was possibly one of the best attended, by way of performers and audience, for a very long time. The day started early, with four booths already set-up in the North Hall of Covent Garden Piazza, well before 7.00am!
By the time the public were waiting for the first show to start, there were some 11 performers ready to fill the air with the sound of “that’s the way to do it”. Performing on the day were: Paul Jackson, John Thursby, Geoff Felix, Mark Andrews, James Arnott, David Wilde, Martin Battey, Gary Wilson, Glyn Edwards, Clive Chandler and Bryan Clarke.
At just twelve years of age, young Martin Battey travelled down from Suffolk to perform in the “Search for the most promising young Professor” - a joint venture between the PJF and the Punch & Judy College of Professors. What a great show he gave too.
The PJF publicity machine had certainly been working overtime in order to make this year’s Festival a huge success. It was heavily promoted to enthusiasts and members of the public in the national newspapers, on-line forums, what's on guides and social networking websites - and boy did it show! The sun shone and the crowds came, stayed and enjoyed show after show from each of Punch Professors.
BBC Radio London were there to cover the Festival too, with three Professors giving two separate interviews live on air, during the Lesley Joseph Sunday breakfast programme. Not bad considering she had also featured the May Fayre just a few months before, so Lesley is obviously a fan of Punch & Judy!
As always, plenty of sales were made by Wilma Tucker on the sales stand throughout the day. Bottling was carried out by various PJF members, resulting in possibly the largest amount ever collected for PJF funds at this annual festival. So it just proves Mr Punch is more popular than ever!