THIRTY years on and bigger than ever, that is the story of Tewkesbury Medieval Festival.

Last year the organisers battled against the elements to keep going when most other events were cancelled. This year they are hoping that the only battle on site will be the one between the houses of York and Lancaster.

For the first time banners made by local children at a workshop organised by the Roses Theatre will be part of the event. They will be carried by their makers as part of a dragon parade around the site, starting from the Bright Knight tent at at 2 pm on both days.

Also new will be the opportunity to try your hands at Medieval skittles. The skittle alley will be found next to the beer tent with its range of mead,ciders and beers, including Tewkesbury Festivale), specially brewed for the event by Goffs of Winchcombe.

Returning after a few years absence will be the falconer and the stilt walking and juggling team, Zooted.

All the usual attractions, including the battle re-enactment, living history villages, dancers, minstrels, a gruesome barber surgeon,and the lovely storytellers will be there.

The Lancastrian Queen Margaret of Anjou will be setting up an elegant French Court on the Bloody meadow, whilst the Yorkist King Edward will hold court in great splendour on Windmill Hill.

This year’s festival takes place on July 13-14, and gates open at 11am on both days with the dramatic official opening by the patron Robert Hardy at midday on Saturday The battle takes place at 4pm on Saturday, with a further skirmish around the Abbey at 7.30.

Sunday’s battle is at 3pm, with the festival closing at 5pm.

Eentry to the festival is free, with a charge for parking, and a bucket collection on site.