This year's Esperanto summer festival was the 46th since the tradition began at Wedgwood Memorial College, Barlaston.
See below for first-hand impressions from two of the participants, and some pictures of the event.
I have just returned from my 5th consecutive Summer Festival in Barlaston. As always the accommodation was first class, the food overwhelming and the Esperanto activities good. Best of all was the friendship between the samideanoj [like-minded individuals]. Each year I meet again old friends and I make new ones. It is an interesting, enjoyable and informative holiday for anyone but I especially recommend it to someone holidaying alone. Do join us next year!
The Esperanto summer festival at Barlaston is very interesting. The activities for beginners are amusing and everything takes place in an atmosphere of encouragement. Even those who come lacking confidence in their ability to speak Esperanto soon develop a desire to express themselves using the language. However, you can take part in as much or as little as you want - but the constant sound of people chatting and joking in Esperanto about everything and nothing only serves to encourage the newcomer.
The working environment at Wedgwood Memorial College reinforces the effect of the immersion in Esperanto. The rooms are modestly but adequately furnished. The food is excellent. A cooked breakfast is available and lunch and dinner comprise classic English cuisine. I especially recommend the bread and butter pudding.
Attendees are given ample free time to explore the surrounding countryside and towns. A visit to the local pub where you can sit and talk with other Esperanto speakers shows that the language is not just some theoretical project but a language for everyday life.
Mark Drake, London
A rendition of 'Old MacDonald had a farm' - in Esperanto - had people rolling in the aisles. Well, not quite, but the laughter was loud and long. From left: Joyce Bunting, Malcolm Jones, Angela Tellier and David Kelso.
One of the highlights of the traditional entertainment evening was Esperanto sketches. Here, Mark Drake and John Loughran perform a sketch entitled 'An uncle advises ...'
Two Lithuanian students took part in the 2006 summer festival - and they continued their Esperanto studies in the pub. Ieva Sivickyte (left) and Tadas Lavickas (right), from Kaunas, received a grant from the Norwich Jubilee Esperanto Foundation to attend the festival. Between them is Michael Sims - the person whose rendition of Old MacDonald caused so much merriment.
Jack Warren teaches.
Pictures by Paul Gubbins
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