Time to party at Sidmouth's Kennaway House!

PUBLISHED: 10:03 28 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:33 18 June 2010

CELEBRATIONS the scale of those officially launching Kennaway House next week have not been seen in Sidmouth since the Millennium. That is according to Dr Michael James, Chairman of Kennaway House, and other members who are planning a day never to forget.

CELEBRATIONS the scale of those officially launching Kennaway House next week have not been seen in Sidmouth since the Millennium.

That is according to Dr Michael James, Chairman of Kennaway House, and other members who are planning a day never to forget.

The opening will be held on Saturday, July 4 and everyone is invited.

In a brief ceremony the magnificently restored Grade II listed building will be opened by Hugo Swire at 4pm after an introduction by Dr James.

And the grand affair will be surrounded by a variety of events and entertainment.

The house and garden will be open from 2.30pm and a host of local groups will be performing to show their support for the project.

On the lawn will be the Sidmouth College Drummers, Sidmouth Town Band, Diamond Cheer squad and Sidmouth Steppers.

There will also be a childrens' corner with tuck shop, bran tub and face painter; and strawberries and fizz for grown-ups.

Inside the house there will be a series of playlets by Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society illustrating the history of the building and its occupants.

Other entertainment includes square dancing, an art exhibition, displays and cream teas in the Cellar Bar, accompanied by folk band Rooting Around. Later, the bar will also be open.

From 5-8pm there will be a hog roast and the Exeter City Steam Jazz Band will be playing in the Cellar Bar.

Kennaway House, built in 1805 and once home to the first MP for East Devon, Sir John Kennaway, came close to demolition in 2001.

It was saved after a campaign to raise £1 million, of which £554,000 was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"We're very touched that so many groups want to come and support us," said Dr James.

"If this level of interest continues, the house should be well used."

The house is now a centre for the arts, learning and the community and can be hired for family celebrations such as weddings, the first of which was on 6 June, with several more already booked in.


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