In 2009 a group of local residents got together to resurrect an annual Montpelier event from the Eighteenth Century.
In a historical account of the Old England pub, the annual Montpelier Bean Feast is described as a ‘famous event at which a mock mayor, sheriff and other civic dignitaries were solemnly elected and much ale was drunk by the delighted spectators’ .
This was in the days of Thomas Rennison, who established Rennison’s Pleasure Bath and Gardens in the area of Bath Buildings and Montpelier Park. As well as running the Baths, Rennison built a bowling green, tea gardens and the Old England Tavern and put on weekly concerts.
In her book, ‘Montpelier: A Bristol Suburb’, Mary Wright reports that the original Bean Feast revellers indulged in ‘various high jinks’.
The modern-day Bean Feast incorporates high jinks of a different sort, with games, craft activities, live music, a local produce swap and plenty of cake! The main aim is to build community spirit and connections between neighbours, as well as spread awareness about local projects.
Come along to the twenty first century Bean Feast and expect to hear, see, taste and smell the best of what Montpelier and the surrounding area has to offer