Sunday, July 30, 2006


Welcome to Sheldon Country Park and today is the Country Fair. This is literally on my door-step, me living only a few minutes walk away, and I thought I'd give it an airing. There were dozens of exhibitors, hundreds of stalls and several arena displays. In the barn country crafts were well represented with bee-keeping, home-made preserves and pickles, gifts, jewelry and all the usual stalls you'd expect to see at such an event. For the children there were bouncy castles, a miniature steam railway, and a fully-fledged fairground. They were also allowed to participate in some of the arena events. It was a great day although at one point it seemed we were in for a downpour (after weeks of drought!), but it stopped as quickly as it started. Here is my diary for the day with the best of the photographs.
For those of you more interested in local history than current events, Thomas Bray (missionary and founder of the SPCK) lived at the farm and gave his name to nearby Brays Road. Parts of the local church, St Giles, date back to the early 1300s.

More of the farm buildings.

Aaaaahhhhhhh! A lone piglet blissfully ignores the spectators.

The whole litter.


A Tamworth pig.

There is some serious wood-carving taking place here. A.L. Farm and Forestry Services of Majors Green, Worcs make all manner of fencing, gates, amongst other services. Here they get stuck in...

... to produce mushrooms and horse's heads.

More of their hi-tech equipment.

An exhibition of thatchwork.

Cane work including several wicker men (remember Britt Ekland?) are part of a display... the Odd Chair of Lodge Farm, Hatton, Warks. A wider selection of wares shown here and...

...spinning using an old flat iron.

A Vintage Penny Arcade. £1 bought you 12 old pennies (12d). Now there's inflation for you.

There's some best back there in the Farmers Tent.

Some calves.

Chickens as well.

Chris O'Donnell with Sydney the Bald Eagle. Chris exhibited his birds of prey in the "Hawk Experience", a static and flying display.

In the foreground Batty the Bateleur Eagle. The vulture is in the background.

A Verraux Eagle Owl.

A Ruppell's Griffon vulture.

Sydney the Canadian Bald Eagle. There are plenty of shots of these wonderful birds later.

More birds of prey.. an owl, one of several displayed by Owls Galore! of Banbury.

More owls.

Jumping through hoops, a display by "The English Mongrels"

Pushing a wheel round (the inverted hamster trick).

The dog heads towards the car...

... to drive around the arena as a finale.

A jazz band adds music to the proceedings.

One man and his six dogs (and five sheep). Actually it's "One Man and his Dog" commentator Gus Dermody here to give a display of sheepdogs.

Rounding them up.

The dogs keep a wary eye on the sheep.

Now for something completely different. It's the duck-dog trials. Actually, they are drakes. The idea is for the dogs to herd the drakes through a thin tunnel and into a pen.

The first obstacle.

Into the tunnel.

Now get them round to the pen.

Nearly there.


Help!! It's Batty the Bateleur eagle heading straight for the crowd at the start of the second part of the display by Chris O'Donnell and his Hawk Experience.

I feel safer when it's up there.

Coming in to land.

An appearance by the vulture.

Sydney the bald eagle takes off for the final display....

...veers round to the right...

..and ends with a final low swoop over the arena.

At one end, the tower of St Giles Church nestles snugly behind the trees.

At the other end is the obligatory funfair.

IT'S A MYSTERY 21st July 2006

My wife and I went to see the Coventry Mystery Play on 21st July. It was set in the ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral late in the evening. It told the story of the creation through to the resurrection in a contemporary style, and it was a very moving and humbling experience.
If you get the opportunity see it!