It’s that time of year again when every street corner (and your windscreen if you stop for long enough) bristles with posters advertising local fêtes, vide-greniers and concerts. Some of the early ones have had to contend with appalling weather (more of that in a later post), but the sun re-emerged tentatively on Sunday and it’s got better ever since. The organisers of la Fête de la Musique, which took place yesterday, must have breathed a sigh of relief.
Fête de la Musique at Beauregard
Beauregard is a small village (2013 population 235; 1821 population 922) on the Causse de Limogne in the Lot. Normally it’s a quiet place but last night it was crammed with hundreds of people who came to hear various musical offerings under cloudless skies.
The SF’s small ensemble of male singers was one of the attractions. It’s named Hommes sans Frontières, since it includes no less than five different nationalities. One of the singers lives in Beauregard and the “boys”, as the SF refers to them, assembled on the steps of his house to regale the public with a medley of songs in various languages (including Welsh…).
The square was a hive of activity, with musical turns as well as stalls selling saucisse-frites, sandwiches and various other refreshments for hungry music lovers.
Beauregard lives up to its name
Although only a small place, Beauregard is rather well appointed for this type of event. The village is an example of a bastide, a type of new town that was developed in the 13th century on a grid pattern around a large central square. The existence of dolmens and other prehistoric structures testifies to the occupation of the area long before the Middle Ages, but the village in its present form dates from that period.
The square is dominated by a belfry, which was apparently a common 13th-century feature, and by the 14th-century halle (market hall). You can still see the old grain measures built into the walls.
One distinguishing feature is that the church is not in the centre of the village, which is quite rare. In fact, some visitors and I missed it entirely when we went a few weeks ago and concluded that, exceptionally, it didn’t have one. Wrong. It’s just a bit out of town, hence no photo.
The village is situated in the so-called “triangle noir”, i.e. one of the parts of France that has the least light pollution. This has earned Beauregard the appellation “Village Etoilé” (lit. starry village).
Fête de Teysseroles
A bit closer to home, the final preparations are in hand for our annual fundraising fête at la Chapelle de Teysseroles. This is a 15th-century former parish church that we are helping to restore. The fête takes places on Sunday and includes an alfresco meal featuring roast suckling pig, entertainment, games and a tombola. And, touching wood hard when I write this, the weather promises to be good. If you’re in the area and want to come, booking is essential – see the details on the poster above.
The restoration work on the chapel itself has started in the past couple of months. This includes the reinforcement of one of the pillars near the door, the rebuilding of the steps in front of the chapel and the repair of the doors. The stumps and roots of the pine trees that we had felled a few years ago have finally been removed, too.
It’s exciting that we are at last seeing the fruits of our labours and fundraising efforts.
It seems as if summer really has arrived.
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