Festival Director’s moving tribute to David Cordon

At the AGM and Festival Launch on September 4 at Woolpit Institute, Festival Director Nick Foster addressing the meeting gave this moving tribute to David Cordon:

It is with immense sadness that we announce the sudden death of David Cordon. David was instrumental in establishing and enhancing our festival after Eileen Jones “Music Weeks” had set up a strong base of interested people and volunteers. Taking over from Eileen in 1988 David formed a supporters group, organised some very successful fundraising, established a bar and dress code for all events and introduced a logo – all to make the festival appear as a professionally run event. He was chairman and Director for 10 years before passing on the chairman’s role to concentrate on running the events as director which he did for another 6 years, overall 16 years dedicated service to Woolpit Festival. In that time he used his contacts to bring some illustrious names to Woolpit – John Julius Norwich, Janet Suzman, Sylvia Sims, Ludovic Kennedy, Jenny Agutter, Richard Bake, Tim Piggott- Smith and Antony Hopkins. Musically we had the Academy of St Martin’s in the Field, Cantabile and the Allegri String Quartet. An impressive array of talent to be hosted in a small Suffolk Village!

David was also strongly committed to the Drama Club where over the years he directed a number of plays that would not have been out of place in the London theatre scene. And latterly he worked with us in the festival – over the last three years directing two Alan Bennett plays from the Talking Heads series each year.

David had a commanding presence, an impressively professional approach to everything he did (his garden has always been a stunning hit of the village open gardens) and through his talented direction of many plays and his effective stewardship of the Festival, he brought a huge amount of pleasure to our village. He will be terribly missed. 

Just to let you know that Stanley, Paquita and Caroline have confirmed the Talking Heads production will go ahead – “as David would have wanted it”


Booking Details link

Extracts below from the Director’s Supporters Newsletter – anyone wishing to join the list to receive Woolpit Festival information let us know at the festival email – info@woolpit-festival.com

On Friday 30 September 7.30pm we start with another two Alan Bennett plays from the Talking Heads series directed by David Cordon and starring those fine actors Paquita Savill and Caroline Brooks who gave such assured performances in last year’s stories of a struggling actress and a desperately lonely vicar’s wife.

Paquita’s portrayal of the dark side of loneliness continues this year with  “A Lady of Letters” putting pen to paper to complain about the many wrongs in her life – only to get into deep water with her misunderstanding of the family living opposite her.

In “The Hand of God” (a rare production for which David obtained permission to perform it at Woolpit from Alan Bennett) Caroline will play the owner of an antiques shop who gets more than she’s bargained for when she’s given an old smudgy drawing of a finger.

On Saturday 1 October we are hoping to have an afternoon activity for children – story-telling, acting and singing. This is yet to be finalised but we’ll let you know as soon as it is.

Saturday evening from 7.30pm will be special. We have two sets of fine musicians with very different styles. Cardinal Green are a new Bury-based band formed by Moose Rosser (the man with the unusually deep voice in the group Sound Tradition who have performed twice for us in recent years) and three of his friends. They will play an eclectic mix of their own and others’ songs accompanied no doubt by some amusing anecdotes and stories. They are followed by The Shackleton Trio with the gorgeous voice and exquisite fiddle playing of Georgia Shackleton and the accomplished musicianship of Aaren Bennett (guitar) and Nic Zuppardi (mandolin and banjo). Georgia came here as part of Addison’s Uncle several years ago and  has since forged her own very successful path with three well received albums  (the latest “Mousehold” released earlier this year) and a huge number of live appearances across the UK including at this August’s Aldeburgh Summer Festival. The Shackletons are firmly rooted in the East Anglian landscape and their melodious, earthy and funny songs are an absolute treat.

On Sunday 2 October 7pm in St Mary’s Church we have a return visit from the Churchgate Sinfonia who gave us a memorable concert back in 2015. This time it is their string orchestra bringing us the magical world of Josef Suk (a contemporary of Dvorak) and his signature work the Serenade for Strings. This is followed by a well-loved Concerto Grosso by Handel. The second half begins with the tuneful Holberg Suite by Greig – evocative of the wild landscape and peaceful fjords of his native Norway. And we are back in England – London no less – for the final work by Gustav Holst the ever popular and invigorating St Paul’s Suite.

Tickets will go on sale at the AGM and Launch of the Festival on Sunday September 4 at 12.00 noon in the Institute, Woolpit, where you will be able to buy your tickets and enjoy some refreshments.

Further ticket sales info click “Booking Details for 2022 Festival”

Notice of Woolpit Festival Society Limited Annual General Meeting


Company Number 8020296

Registered Charity Number 1149380


Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Woolpit Festival Society Limited will be held at The Woolpit Institute, The Street, Woolpit, Bury St Edmunds, IP30 9QH on Sunday 4 September 2022 at midday.


1.  To read the notice convening the meeting

2.  Apologies

3.  Minutes of the AGM held on 4 September 2021  

4.  Matters arising

5.  Chairman’s Report

6.  Trustee’s Report

7.  Treasurer’s Report and to approve the Accounts

8.   Appointment of independent examiner

9.   Election of officers

10.  Any other Business

The business of the AGM will be followed by:  

The launch of the Woolpit Festival 2022 from 30 September to 2 October 2022

For and on behalf of the Directors of the WoolpitFestival Society Limited

Nicholas John Foster, Chairman

Peter William Holland, Treasure