THOUSANDS of folk lovers have descended on a small village in North Oxfordshire for the annual Fairport’s Cropredy Convention.

Yesterday saw the festival kick off for the weekend. M

r Finnis, 44, from Aberystwyth, has been coming to the festival for 20 years but had to stay away for the past four years because of a medical condition.

Now fully-recovered he enthused: “It’s awesome to be back. The festival just like I remember it. It was a long journey but I’m pleased to be here.”

This year’s festival will be tinged with sadness after the death of actor Geoff Hughes – best known for roles in Coronation Street, Keeping Up Appearances and The Royle Family – who compered the event for a number of years.