Friday, 20 July 2012

Great Eccleston Show 2012


Last weekend saw some pretty rubbish weather across the UK, with flash floods, downpours and the usul doom and gloom over the “British Summer.”

We were feeling a little bummed out too because of ongoing vehicular-breakdown induced stress.  I really don’t like being without my car, even if I’m not using it. So we’ve been having to make do with ‘The Beast’, a venerable Land Rover, with all the joys of ownership that entails.

Bokkie and I made some last minute plans to go to the Great Eccleston Show (link), which is basically an agricultural and farming equipment/livestock show.  There’s a few fairground rides, classic cars on display, crafts in silver and wood along the pigs, cows, horses, clothing and cakes.
Of course, in light of the weather there was the possibility it would be cancelled….However, the Organisers carried on regardless (how very British!) and we were glad they did.

The sun came out shining for the most part, a cool wind meaning we didn’t realise how much sun we were actually getting till later that night, looking a little red & glowing.

First, the tough bit – ticket price for admission - £10 each.  Now, given that this blog is about doing things/going places/experiences that are on the cheaper end of things, and I don’t know that the admission price included both days of the Show (though they did stamp your hand if you left the grounds).

Once inside, we enjoyed strolling around the displays a little.  We love classic cars, and there were a few lovely restored and well maintained models around.  The MKII Jag, in deep navy with matching leather, was the best of the lot in our opinion.  The owner, seeing us gaze longingly and taking a few pictures, immediately encouraged us to open it up and sit inside.  We couldn’t bring ourselves to do this, but Bokkie loved the scent of the old leather and wood, reminding her of a relative’s car.

There was an Italian from Tuscany selling solid oak chopping blocks.  These enormous chunks of wood, a single piece from the trunk, weighed a good 20-30lbs.- I needed two hands to lift one, that’s how heavy and bulky it was. Lightly treated with Olive oil, these hunks of wood are probably going to outlive us.  Unfortunately, the price wasn’t easy to stomach on the day - £75.  As an investment long term, I can see it makes sense, as it’s the last chopping board you’d ever buy, but he didn’t have any payment facility other than cash, and, £75 cash is a lot of diesel for ‘The Beast.’

The scheduled Tractor Pull was running behind schedule, so we ventured to the showground and ambled around the food marquee till the prize cows had been paraded and the Hawk display got underway.  The man behind this was basically showing a few owls, off the glove, that flew around a bit around the ground and stands, giving you information about each species.  Things where going well, until he introduced the Harris’ Hawk.  That bird was eyeing everything and everyone, with that sort of stoop that you imagine hides evil intent.  After a few minutes, the hawk flew from the perch, and went to land, unexpectedly, on his head.  It missed as he ducked and the ensueing flailing wings, claws and beak meant the show froze as he begged help from the audience for assistance and apologized for calling the show off.  We spied him a few moments later with the hawk removed from his face, blood streaming from several deep wounds around his face.  He was very lucky not to lose an eye.

The Tractor Pull was highly entertaining, even if neither of us really understood why, how, what for.  Being the Saturday, the really big boys, with supercharged, aer-engined and jet engined creations weren’t on (bigger crowds on Sunday), but we found the stalling and wheelies good fun.
Tractor Pull @ 2012 Great Eccleston Show.

We’ve already made a note to do next years if we’re around, that’s how much of a good time we had.  And we finally got to off-road (well, sort of) in ‘The Beast.’

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