Knob Throwing returns to Cattistock
This will come as no surprise to many since it’s been discussed for long enough but the Dorset Knob Throwing Committee has now made the official decision. The Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley FoodFest (to give the event its full cumbersome title) will not take place in 2020. But it will take place in 2021 on the usual date – the first Sunday in May – and it will be back in Cattistock.
The return to Cattistock will not be without its challenges. The Committee wishes to thank Helen and Dan Newman for offering suitable parking on Manor Farm. Also, the Hunt and the Football Club for provision of the KnobFest arena. And, of course, the principal sponsor and essential provider of Dorset Knobs, David Winship of Moores Biscuits, for his continuing unflinching support. With parking looking secure road management will be an issue so we will be working with Highways and other local authorities on establishing a public road one way system on the day.
With so many stall holders and other supporters actively encouraging a return to Cattistock we are very confident of its success.
To recap, for those who may not be aware, the 2020 event was cancelled for two reasons. First, still inexplicable to us, Kingston Maurward College suddenly decided that the event no longer brought in sufficient revenue and withdrew support. Second, the changed date of the early May Bank Holiday in 2020 (to accommodate VE Day memorials) meant that other Dorset events felt compelled to change their dates meaning the KnobFest would clash with at least one other similar activity. With no obvious venue and given this potential conflict, the Committee felt that it was prudent to skip a year.
It’s crazy, it’s zany, it’s growing like Topsy and it was invented here in Cattistock.
It’s Dorset Knob Throwing!
The first Dorset Knob Throwing took place behind the Fox and Hounds in Cattistock. So next year we did it again with a bit of grub thrown in. Then it got too big for behind the pub so we moved to the Cattistock village play area. The date was fixed as the first Sunday in May. By this time the food element was expanding fast and you would be amazed at the number of Knob games fertile minds can dream up! It grew and it grew – a move to the football pitch followed. It took on the grand title of The Dorset Knob Throwing and Frome Valley Food Festival. And still it grew with over 5,000 visitors in 2016 almost swamping our village.
At this time the event boasted 75 food, craft and general interest stalls, 2 bars, 3 bands, loads of gazebos and marquees all centred around the Knob Arena which featured no less than 14 Dorset Knob Games of which the most popular remains the original Dorset Knob Throwing. And, before you ask, the Dorset Knob Throwing World Record stands at 29.4m!
It’s now the fastest growing Food Festival in Dorset. It has moved to Kingston Maurward College just outside Dorchester but it’s still a Cattistock event, organised and manned by the village.
The 2019 KnobFest was a huge success with record numbers attending and reports could hardly have been more favourable. There were glitches – not least traffic management on public roads – and a lot of lessons were learned but for the 8,000+ visitors who made it to Kingston Maurward it was a great experience.
Over 100 people from the village and surrounds manned stalls, gates, Knob Games and carried out an array of other tasks to ensure the event ran well. Our visitors enjoyed the day in company with local and national media and even Children’s BBC was present. Knob Throwing will be the theme of a CBBC 2020 programme. Hopefully we will know in advance when it is to be aired.
Those 8,000 visitors enjoyed over 90 food and craft stalls, two main bars (one selling “Dorset Knob” Beer the other being a “pop-up” Fox & Hounds, 3 bands and plenty of informal entertainment. Financially it went very well with over £10,000 returning to the Village.
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The Knob Team: Ian Gregory, Wayne Briggs, Sean Lavan, Patrick Nelson, Ian Vine, Phil Hallett, John Swatridge, Peter Higgins, Alex Cummins and Steve Barker. Contact any of them if you want to know more.