By: Blonde Two
Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Blonde Two, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all!
So there we are, I finally got to spend a whole day at Widecombe Fair and, after approximately 40 years of wondering who he actually was, I also got to meet Tom Cobley! I had a lovely day and it felt good, really good, to be signing books that I had written, at a fair that I had always wanted to attend.
There was so much going on and I was so busy meeting people, that I didn’t see all of the fair. However, from my seat of comfort and shelter (the shelter was needed) underneath the porch of the Sexton’s Cottage, I had a good view of lots of happy people, doing lots of happy things. Here are some of my highlights:
The weather: Showers they said, well there were showers, long ones; but there was sunshine too and nobody was too hot or too wet for long. There was even a bit of thunder and lightning to add some extra excitement.
Old Uncle Tom Cobley: I am not sure that by 11:00 and after their second pint, Peter Gurney et al knew who was who, but they were very obliging and leant me a rather snazzy hat for my photo.
Everybody else: I have never before met so many smiley, happy people. They smiled through the rain, they smiled in the sunshine and they smiled at me. Devonshire folk (plus a few from New Zealand) at their finest.
The town criers: Oyez, Oyez, Oyez! Who knew that town criers could be women, or that they were allowed pink beards? And who knew that with bells, it is the size that matters! God Save the Queen!
The hospitality: I was right about not needing much breakfast. I was beautifully looked after by the National Trust team and enjoyed cake, a pasty, biscuits, copious tea and even a little taste of cider.
The park and ride coach: I don’t really like coach rides, and per mile, this was an expensive one, but I really do have to mention the coach drivers who, because of the wet fields, spent most of the day reversing their coaches down half a kilometre of narrow Dartmoor road. We gave ours a round of applause!
The sheep: I don’t mean the ones down on the show field, although I am sure they were fabulous. This particular sheep is my new best friend and I would have liked to been able to take him home with me. I’m not sure this doggie would agree with me though!