Soap star June Brown, best known for her iconic chain-smoking, Bible-referencing gossip Dot Cotton in Eastenders, is coming to Banstead’s first ever community festival, writes Alice Foster.

Brown, a Banstead resident, will present a trophy to the winners of a cricket match during the festival, which will bring together market stalls, live music and attractions for kids.

The area’s MP Crispin Blunt will play for the local Royal British Legion’s newly-formed cricket team against the hosts, Banstead Cricket Club.

The Banstead branch of the Legion is organising the festival with support from the cricket club and maritime charity the Royal Alfred Seafarers' Society.

Organiser Peter Mitchell says they want to commemorate the First World War, promote the Legion and bring the community together.

He says: "It’s about having fun. We want to get together and have a good day. It’s going to be an all action-packed day."

The festival is the brainchild of Mr Mitchell, 34, who served with the Royal Green Jackets for eight years, and ex-Royal Marine Chris Mansfield, 34. They both belong to the Legion.

He adds: "We thought there’s so much more we can do in Banstead. We thought we would put a little festival together to commemorate World War I.

"The idea grew and grew and grew. People are coming on board left, right and centre. It has snowballed a lot."

The organisers hope to make the festival an annual event to mark each year of the centenary of World War I (1914-1918). Mr Mitchell adds: "It’s about what we can do for next year and keeping memories alive."

Surrey Army Cadet’s corp of drums and band plus American World War II re-enactors will also be performing on the day.

There will also be acoustic music, a raffle, tea marquee, beer tent and a children’s area with fun slides and other attractions.

Banstead Community Festival; Lady Neville Sports Ground, Avenue Road, Banstead; Sunday August 10, from noon; visit or