The 42nd Dartmoor Folk Festival took place on 9th, 10th & 11th August at South Zeal, up Oakhampton way (using a spelling from the old tithe map). Dartmoor Preservation Association had its usual presence with a stall i.e. a table in the big Craft & Trade Marquee. The Festival “starts up” on the Friday evening with a Folk Concert followed by the Ceilidh, 8 pm – midnight.  This year the weather was not so kind – while it was sunny for the early photographs, it became more grey and there were periods of “Dartmoor mist” falling so, where practical, events were moved into the Events Marquee. I’m not sure if any ferrets were raced on the Sunday!

 

The main street in South Zeal

The main street in South Zeal

 

If you are not a stallholder with “gear” to move in then the rest of us use the festival car park. This is a large field right on the edge of the village. It is next to the camp site where you see a variety of tents and camper vans.  I can’t remember if there were any caravans – the lanes are a bit narrow for that.

 

 

Oxenham Arms

Oxenham Arms

 

The Oxenham Arms is in the middle of the village and The King’s Arms is higher up the hill – past the side-turning to the car park – I didn’t get out much this visit, so there is no photograph. I did make it there one year, distributing DPA leaflets etc to those who were interested in our aims. Quite a few were.

 

Street stall

Street stall

 

This street stall seems to be there every year, another reminder of making the most of opportunities.

 

Early morning at the showground

Early morning at the showground

 

The showground looks very empty in these early morning photographs – we were in the far marquee, next door to Dartmoor Magazine. I forgot to photograph their stand this year. There’s always next year.

 

Main marquee entrance

Main marquee entrance

 

I always have a look inside the main marquee as I arrive, to see what is happening …..

 

Someone had to watch over the bar stock

Someone had to watch over the bar stock

 

This year I found someone had slept next to the beer barrels, inside the marquee!

 

Bottom end of the showground, the Show Office

Bottom end of the showground, the Show Office

 

The photograph above shows the bottom end of the showground where the Festival Office is plus other attractions.

 

Gloatwood stall

Gloatwood stall

 

The DPA stall was next to a fine display of high quality, hand-made wooden craftwork.

 

DPA stall

DPA stall

 

We were in the corner of the marquee with enthusiastic volunteers …..

 

DPA stall

DPA stall

 

Derek Collins and Keith Ryan, at the ready – photo taken by Val Barns while Leslie was circulating somewhere. Even though the weather was uninviting, there was still a steady flow of interested customers to engage with.

 

Inside the Trade Marquee

Inside the Trade Marquee

 

Early morning, shortly after the show opened.

 

Just practicising

Just practising

 

I forgot to get a name for this marquee – there were musicians planning and practising.

 

Ferret racing ready to begin

Ferret racing ready to begin

 

The ferret-racing display is seen at several county shows through the summer.

 

The Stowes, in the Event Marquee

The Stowes, in the Event Marquee

 

The Stowes Celtic folk band from Cornwall made an impression – there are samples of their sound on the Media web page, including Harry’s Song for Cornwall.

 

A very dubious pavement for an after-11 pm return to your tent!

A very dubious pavement for an after-11 pm return to your tent

 

The photograph above shows the road between the car park/camping site and the village. It is alright in the early morning but when the festival shuts down at around midnight, and considering the intended enjoyment of the event-goers, I think the pavement could be a tad risky without street lights!

 

Postscript – my amusement along the way, not unrelated to the festival …..

A problem with writing these blog posts is that my mind can wander! I always smile at seeing the Dartmoor Broom Dance Workshop on the programme (Sat. morning) – I have seen broomstick dancing here over the last few years when volunteering and it always takes me back to 1959 and Brenda Lee – Let’s jump the broomstick (let’s tie the knot). This is when I realised there was more “out there” than just picking tomatoes, lifting bulbs, planting freesia seeds, driving cows, picking daffodils, shovelling out the pigs, chasing chickens and cutting hedges – there was Brenda Lee!

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