Sun, Steam and a Woolly Jumper
Yesterday was sunny, warm and dry – with just enough breeze to keep things pleasant. And it was also the day of the monthy outing of the Shropshire Community Flickr Group. Our destination was Oswestry’s Park Hall Showground, and the annual show of the Clwyd Veteran and Vintage Machinery Society. They are based in Wrexham.
Jason picked me up from Shrewsbury and collected James at Baschurch on the way to the showground. At the entrance, we met up with Peter and the four of us stayed together all day. The show had fewer steam engines than I expected, although those on display were beautifully maintained. An Aveling and Porter road-roller, a big black Fowler engine and a Marshall along with a delightful old fire engine inscribed ‘Earl of Chester – Volunteer Fire Brigade’. There were some scale model engines, too.
It might have been a bit short of steam, but there were plenty of other exhibits. A vast number of tractors, a beautiful Romany wagon – as beautiful inside as out – and a good number of old cars, lorries, buses, motorcycles and farm machinery. There were also collections on show – die-cast models, chainsaws, wheelchairs, mowers, tools…. Even a display of old milk bottles lovingly presented! Shire horses, birds of prey, sideshows, a big model railway giving rides, and a selection of events in the areana.
It wouldn’t be a machinery show without lots of stalls selling things: sweets and toys and ice cream. (Great weather for ice cream sales!) Books, antiques, crafts – there was a whole hall of craft stalls as well as the outdoor stalls – food stalls. (I had lunch at a Thai food stall: an excellent red curry made fresh while I waited.)
Stalls selling strange odd bits of machinery and metal laid out with as much care as the enthusiasts’ displays. And charcters, types, interesting faces. Plenty of scope for people-watching.
One of the arena displays was a man with an elderly sheepdog and a performing sheep. The sheep walked through a hoop and jumped little fences while being pulled along on a lead. (I gather they were both herding ducks later, but we didn’t stay for the rest of the show.)
Needless to say, I took a lot of photos. You’ll find more of them here.
We were expecting to spend a couple of hours at the showground, at most, and then go on to a Food and Drink Festival. But we stayed twice as long as intended, because there was so much to see. We decided to skip the Food and Drink and went off to Wales instead – to the River Dee and the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct near Llangollen. In the sunshine. And then home.