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Fete of the Nation

  • Free
  • Discussion
  • British Sign Language
  • Speech-to-text

Watch the video

Join designer Niamh Thompson for an illuminating and critical discussion about the English village fete, its history and folklore. 

Forget the homemade jam, floral bunting and tombola, in this talk Niamh will explore the quirkier and sometimes sinister side of the village fete, asking what its traditions, rituals and superstitions reveal about our identities. 

A recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, Niamh will also introduce her sculpture and multimedia work. There will be a chance to ask questions. 

The event took place in our building and was livestreamed on Wellcome Collection’s YouTube channel.



Need to know

Place not guaranteed

Booking a ticket for a free event does not guarantee you a place. You should aim to arrive 15 minutes before the event is scheduled to start to claim your place. If you do not arrive on time, your place may be given to someone on the waiting list.


Booking a ticket guarantees you entry to the online event. You will be given joining instructions in your confirmation email.

British Sign Language

This event will have British Sign Language interpretation.


This event will be live-transcribed, which may be useful for people who are D/deaf, hard of hearing, deafened or neurodivergent. The captions will be displayed on a large screen in-venue. Ticketholders for the livestream will receive a link to view the captions in a separate window.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

Our event terms and conditions

About your speaker

Black and white photograph of designer Niamh Thompson

Niamh Thompson

Niamh Thompson is a London-based designer and recent graduate from the Royal College of Art (RCA). While at the RCA, Niamh conducted a critical investigation into the emergence of nationalism within the English village fete. More broadly, her practice is research-led and, through an exploration of archival material – be that home videos nestled within village halls or abstractions of folk-horror theories tucked away in the darkest corners of TikTok – her work engages with politics, relationships, typography and British folk culture.