Last month, a one-of-a-kind amphitheater in Chilton was officially opened by local parish councilor Mark Urso-Calé.
The parish council was able to host the event to celebrate the new community open space that residents can use and enjoy now that Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Despite the wet weather forecast, the event went ahead and was well attended by local villagers, Chilton Parish and Vale of White Horse District Councilors. After the inauguration ceremony, four local entertainment groups took part in the celebration of the new facility. Wantage band Whooysa kicked off the celebrations by playing American folk roots music.
A wonderful surprise followed the Rock Choir Oxfordshire, as the crowd was tricked into believing that only one singer was involved, however, a fabulous Flash-mob caught everyone off guard and the performance turned out like a treat .
Home to Chilton, the Blewbury Brass Band then followed up with a mix of classic tracks and the day ended with the formidable The Undercovers, who were asked to play recalls.
The amphitheater was built before and during the pandemic, and was created by sculptor Tim Norris, who used the neighboring Diamond Light Source building as his main inspiration. The structure can accommodate up to 70 people and is carved into the landscape to take the form of the Harwell campus-based science facility, which produces intense beams of light for examining materials in scientific research.
The amphitheater and surrounding grounds were funded by developer contributions for public art as part of an agreement with the Vale of White Horse District Council to build new homes in the area. The parish council was successful in receiving £ 72,486 as a result of a £ 10,312 fund for research, consultation and commissioning for the art project.
Councilor Mark Urso-Calé, of the Parish Council of Chilton, said: “I am very proud to have been a part of the entire artwork project from start to finish and particularly proud of the event. today. I couldn’t have asked for more from the village, the performances put on by the artists, and I was so happy that everyone had such a great time.
“The artwork is a focal point for the area and so nice to have in Chilton. It’s so different from what you see in other areas and it’s really unique.
Cllr Margaret Crick, Chair of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “It was great to come and see how funds from local promoters directly helped the parish council build such an ambitious project. I am sure it will be a popular space that will bring the community together and support our own goals to build healthier communities.
Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne, Harwell and Chilton District Councilor, said: “I really enjoyed being a part of the opening celebrations, it was really nice to see everyone back together. I love the way the design and structure of the amphitheater reflects the nearby Diamond light source – very cool! Well done to everyone involved. “
Cllr Sarah Medley, Harwell and Chilton District Councilor, said: “This is a fantastic open space for everyone in the village, and the perfect place for community groups to put on small shows as well as a place to go. lovely for residents to meet and have fun. . “