Sometimes days go by where it appears that over previous years there are days where I havent taken any photos. Then you get to times where there are photos and videos because of annual events. Usually around this time of year is the Hollowell Steam and Heavy Horse Show so my photostreams seem full of my visits there
Sometimes I like to turn my pictures into little videos. I’ve been doing this since about 2008 when I learned how to do it while doing a degree in Television Production. At least it makes me feel like it was worthwhile eh?
Anyway, here is a collection of photos taken today in 2014 at the Steam Fair in Bloxham. Although I go to a lot of steam fairs I do not own an anorak nor do I enjoy flasks of weak lemon drink.
I love these things. Whenever I go to a steam fair or county show, I look out for them so I can film them. There will come a time when these things will fall silent for the last time and I fear generations to come might not care to preserve them as well as people today.
Believe it or not, there is a man standing in this picture. It may look like a harmless artistic photograph of a grassy bank with a metal pipe sticking out of it but if you look….really closely…you’ll see….there is a man dressed as a World War II German soldier. Can you see him now?
This was taken in 2011 when Zoe and I visited the Great Central Railway’s World War 2 Weekend which, until this year, has happened annually. Volunteers, reenactors and enthusiasts recreate the Second World War at the stations along the heritage line there. Each station dressed as different stages – Evacuation Britain, Allied Camp at Normandy, Battle ground and Occupied France. Its such an educational, enjoyable and fun visual experience and comes wholly recommended.
It was crap.
It was bloody fantastic!
The £7 ($14) per person to get in was just right. On entering we had to walk through the trade stands.
The first couple of stalls were just boring old countrywear stuff (like hats and coats) and a photographer and some people selling costume jewelry. But it wasnt long until we were busy trying out the chutneys at the Crusty Pie Company stall. I tried the Flaming hot Chutney which was surprisingly mild with a little tickle of chilli that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Nothing like the Gringley Gringo stuff but never the less a fantastic chutney. (It actually went rather well with the Pork and Apple stuffing Pie we bought from the same stall).
Further exploration took us towards the Root Organics stall who deliver to parts of west and south Yorkshire. They had demonstrative boxes showing the differences between their boxes. I entered their competition (I wont win) and I am going to try and convince Mrs Gnomepants that we need to get their large mixed box. During the discussion we wandered into the Fair Trade tent and saw how they do good work for the producers in far off places who get paid next to nothing by the evil mega-corporations. Slavery eh? You think it was abolished? Hahahahaha. Anyway. Drink this water.
Next off we had a wander round to the other stalls. Cheese Cheese Cheese, who believe it or not sell socks cheese had a vast selection of different cheeses (we bought the Lancashire with apple cinnamon and raisin and some creamy ordinary lancashire).
We walked past the Venison stand and headed out past the vintage cars and over to the animal tents. Saw prize pigs, prize cows, prize goats, prize sheeps, alpacas, dogs, rabbits and loads of other animals.
After a brief lesson by the chef at Mustard and Punch (seriously go to the website, their dishes are really yummy) in how to cook turbot with oysters and braised lettuce, a look at the Oakwell Hall stand and some bee keepers we adjourned for lunch. I had a hot pork sandwich with stuffing and apple. Y-U-M!!
More animals and a look round the posh “we live in the countryside” cars before heading home. Like I said yesterday, I was absolutely knackered but I really enjoyed it.
Anyway, some pictures for you to oggle:-
I’ve been tinkering with Muckybadgers. CMS is such a drag! Still after about a week of picking and poking I’ve kind of got it sussed now I think.
This weekend promises to be quite an active one. Nostell Priory has a steam rally this weekend so I might don my harris tweed cloth cap and take the whippet along to have a gawp at some of the beasts of steam that will be there. Providing I can forage for the £12 entry fee down the back of the couch that is.
Saturday will also see a Farmers Market in Ossett which is just outside Wakefield on the other side of the M1. The wife, her sister, Meredith and I will no doubt be going along to sample the delights of Yorkshire’s finest local foods.
Sunday, we are heading down the A1 to Retford or most specifically, Blyth. There to reunite with Emma (formerly Emma-in-Brighton), Sarah (formerly Sarah-in-Brighton) and Philip (formerly Philip-in-Brighton) who are the Wife’s old university house mates.
Monday and Tuesday are as yet unoccupied….wooo 4 days off work!
Probably the most disappointing thing about the whole thing was that we didn’t just say “No thanks” and carry on driving. In the small print of all the posters in the local shop window and the signs on the roads there was little mention of the £4 adult entry fee. So imagine my surprise on driving through the “Free Parking” gate only to be greeted by a man in combat fatigues grinning like someone about to fleece £8 off unsuspecting tourists.
Bloke – Eeh tha’ll be eight pa’and
Mrs Gnomepants – £8! We dont have enough! Sorry, can we just get out at the bottom? The sign up there said free parking we were just passing through.
Bloke – Oh well…er…well how much have you got spying the £5 note I am brandishing
stegzy – Erm £5…..
Bloke – That’ll do…
I suppose it was a lot less painful than walking through Fitzwilliam wiggling a £5 note in the air and saying “Mug me!”.
Anyway, what i thought would be an interesting collection of steam engines, memorabilia and old tractors turned out to be little more than a showcase of “vintage” cars (There was a Ford Capri there and a Mark 2 Ford Fiesta, they’re no more vintage than my piss). Still it was nice to see some old familiar vehicles in very well kept condition.
Other glorious sites included several marquees of overall suited gentlemen selling what can only be described as the contents of granddad’s shed. Rusty, old motor related things. Like Haynes manuals for Renault 5s, rusty suspension springs, bell pushers from old Atlantean Buses, pipes and things, tat, crap, Junk. No. Really….The wife’s magpie genes nearly caused us to be the proud owner of a couple of new doorbells and a door knocker until the impracticalities of having a bell push from a bus fitted to the back door (yes, we receive our guests at the BACK DOOR, want to make something of it?) and the absurdity in having house fly shaped brass ash tray as a door knocker were realised and had to be placated by a pair of gardening kneel pads for a £1.
There were other highlights. Such as when it rained and the view over to Hemsworth, South Kirkby and Brierley Gap and a couple of steam driven thingies.
This is what it sounds like in the wind.
Next to the clangy thing was another steam driven thing. This didn’t go clang. I’m sure going clang might not seem important to some people. But it is. If your machine don’t clang it ain’t worth showing.
To top the whole day off, this steam powered thing feebly spooged water out of a pipe every 30 seconds. I’m sure it had a function once. What ever that function was I have no idea. What I do know is, however, paying £5 to see all that crap instead of the £8 that I should have paid was still a down right con. Bloody farmers.
The exhibition was called the Scammel Exhibition. Scam-me-l. I should have guessed from the name.