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Disappointment as grant bid rejected, but Marlborough Puppetry Festival will go ahead in July

Written by Tony Millett on .

 Plans for the Marlborough Puppetry Festival to mark the seventieth anniversary of the town's famous Pelham Puppets factory, ware going ahead - despite a bid for an Arts Council grant.being unsuccessful on this occasion.

The festival - to be held July 8-9 - is being organised by the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild and led by David Leech. 

The application to the Arts Council was for a grant of £14,600 and unless other funding is forthcoming the Festival will have to be scaled back a bit.  But the applicatioin to the Arts Council will be re-submitted.

David Leech is undaunted:  "The festival will celebrate the life, work and legacy of Bob Pelham and Pelham Puppets with professional shows, workshops and wonderful exhibitions."

"There will be special guests appearing and exciting activities that will appeal to family audiences, Pelham Puppet collectors and the puppetry community, in fact everyone that comes along!"

The Festival already has the firm support of the Town Council who have promised free use of the Town Hall as well as some support from its 'events budget'.  And the Marlborough History Society has donated £1,000.

Mr Leech is holding a public meeting in the Town Hall on Thursday, March 16 at 7.00pm to give a progress report and recruit volunteers to help at the Festival. 

And, of course, they will be on the look out for financial support as well - great or small.

In the words - well nearly - of that most famous of puppet songs: "We'll gladly be there - like a puppet on a string."