THE home debut of the new Royal Wootton Bassett Club House was seen in with style on Saturday as the club hosted its sixth annual beer festival.
There was a wide selection of beers, ciders and perrys available from local brewers and some from further afield.
The event coincided with the team’s first home game of the season, with hundreds of residents coming to sample some traditional ales while watching the game.
Andrew Gassor, who led with the festival organisation, said: “We aim to hold the event every year to coincide with the first game of the season. Every year it gets bigger and bigger and lots of people seem to come along to support it.”
This year there were 20 ales, five ciders and five perrys, the most the festival has ever had.
Among the local brewers who had stock at the festival were Braydon Ales, Weighbridge Brewhouse and Archers.
There was also live music from bands including The Bateleurs, who performed at Glastonbury, and Irish band Peel Your Own Spuds.
While the day serves as an enjoyable way to see in the new season, it also promotes the rugby club within the community.
Andrew said: “Each year more and more people come along to the festival, so I think people enjoy it.
“The club is a big part of the community and this is a good way of showing people what we are about. People here can come and have fun and enjoy the day.”
The club only moved into the new £1.3m building at Ballards Ash a few weeks ago and it already feels like home.
“It is absolutely fantastic and they are great facilities,” said Andrew, who is also chairman of the mini and junior sections.
After donations from sponsors and some fundraising, the club has also installed a defibrillator.
This was done in partnership with the arrhythmia alliance and its installation was inspired by footballer Fabrice Muamba’s on-pitch heart attack in 2012.
Andrew said: “It is something we obviously hope we never have to use but it is reassuring to have it there.
“We have lots of teams playing here so it will be accessible to all.”