Clear memories and useful Festival archives lie with those who have contributed over many years to the success and growth of the Hampton Food and Arts Festival and with the images captured along the way. Living human archives are very special, and the Festival is grateful that so many of the early Founders are here to share their stories of that initial step of courage.
Thanks to the conversations with some of the founding members, the story of the Festival lives large. Jenny Foxton’s enthusiasm and energy in bringing a young family from country Queensland far from the Downs to Hampton were instrumental in carrying forward the germ of an idea to the collaboration with other like-minded locals leading to developing an outlet for the produce and creativity of the area shared to a broader audience.
Dave McEvoy’s place can be pinpointed as the place where the seed of the idea was germinated over a few drinks. The rich soil on that day was nourished by thinking around the tourist potential of the produce and creative artists new to the district. One of those newbies was Rosemary and together with Jenny came the establishingof interest within the Progress Association. The enthusiasm spread and soon a handful of determined, skilled people with backgrounds from journalism and food production, civic community positions, diverse artistic and understanding of bureaucracy and tourist needs turned the concept into the inaugural Hampton Food Festival.
So a genuine and grateful thanks goes to that determined bunch.
It is because of these founders that we will always be inspired to ensure their vision and hard work is recognised and continued.
Without a location to hold the Festival, nothing would really have progressed, and it was thanks to Kerrie Seccombe and family’s huge involvement, along with Col and Glennys Seccombe, as well as the purchase of the block of land behind the Visitor Information Centre that the Festival has had a home for these many years. Kerrie’s continued focus on tourism in the region has been a thread which continues the ties in the time between festivals. The archive of early photographs and committee materials is in her safe hands.
Jenny Foxton’s contribution to the inaugural festival and the growth over the years is beyond words. Her artistic input is renowned and the label on the Pechey Distillery festival bottle in 2022 is a lasting legacy of her creativity. The Art Exhibition is a much loved component of the Festival.
Dave McEvoy has been, and still is, a Hampton local for many years and was a founding member who played a pivotal role in the tourism focus during his tenure as Crows Nest Council CEO from 1990-2008.
June Coward was involved in the first few festivals and encouraged her son, Cameron to record the fun and growth over the years, and particularly that first event. Still an avid festival supporter, June continues to volunteer at the festival and the Visitor Information Centre, proudly sharing her love of the local highlights.
Dave from Jasmak Electrical and Daniel Field, Plumber have been giving their tradie skills and countless unpaid hours to ensure the electrical needs and water and waste needs are attended to. What a great, devoted team!
Many others have joined the founders across the years, and the next look at the Timeline of the festival will bring their contributions to light along the way.
Founders of any organisation have a particular thirst for their vision to flourish and transform when transformation is called for, and so it has been for this collegial bunch of visionaries.
How can you put a definitive story together about the festival without noting the milestones along the way and the Timeline hopes to provide readers with those important successes and changes which have lead to the current Festival Committee and the drive needed to take it in to a vibrant future.
Enjoy learning about the journey.