If it’s the 2nd Tuesday in September, then it’s Widecombe Fair ….. every year.

The DPA had its usual presence, near the Main Ring.

There is a lot involved with the fair – the first order of the day is to make sure that the DPA stand is set up and presented as temptingly as we can make it, to attract interest from the people passing by.  Also, we keep fairly busy and there are parts of the fair that we don’t normally see – on the village green, for instance, or even all parts of the main field that we are in!  This means there are events that this blog doesn’t encompass – the beer tent and folk music are scheduled in the programme to run up to midnight!

 

Widecombe School Maypole Dancing

10.00 am – First event in Ring 5 – Widecombe Primary School Maypole Dancing

 

The programme lists five display rings, although Rings 1 – 3 are formed by dividing up the Main Ring with tape fences, this is so as to include all the listed activities, although the divisions are removed during the day. Ring 4 is at the bottom of the field, under the trees.  This is where sheep and cattle are housed, shown and judged. Ring 5 was close to where we were, at the top of the main field. This is for dog shows, Morris dancing, children’s races and events, dog and duck demonstrations, dog agility, etc, and towards the end of the day – bale tossing and tug-of-war (this is scheduled in the programme at 1900, i.e. 7 pm).

 

Early bird card seller!

Early bird card seller!

 

One of the DPA’s most popular sales items is the Christmas cards – and there is one volunteer who spends most of the day actively promoting these!

 

Main Ring crowd waiting for the Dog & Duck Display

Main Ring crowd waiting for the Dog & Duck Display

 

I haven’t mentioned the weather yet, and I could leave it like that! It was not a great day for weather, although it didn’t really rain.  It was grey and mist can be seen in some photographs.  At least, there were brighter periods (of dull) at times through the day.

 

Model traction engine

Model traction engine

 

The traction engine above was very near to where we were – and I believe it led the parade of machinery – as it did in 2017.

 

 

Traction engine detail

Traction engine detail

 

The top plaque states: Chas Burrell & Sons Ltd,, Manufacturers, Thetford, England, No. 2644.  The lower plaque: Burrell’s Patent Compound Engine.  I have an interest in traction engines from my childhood when my father used to hire one to come and pass hot steam through piled-up soil in his greenhouses to sterilise it against Botritis, or grey mould, that could ruin a crop of tomatoes.

 

Mid-morning snack queues

Mid-morning snack queues

 

The presence of the church towers says that this can only be Widecombe …..

 

The tower of the Church of St. Pancras, Widecpmbe

The tower of the Church of St. Pancras, Widecombe

 

The Church of St. Pancras, Widecombe, is so impressive for a moorland church that it is known as the Cathedral of the Moor.

 

Another crowd photo, with Ring 5 on the right

Another crowd photo, with Ring 5 on the right

 

 

 

Dartmoor Magazine

Dartmoor Magazine

 

Dartmoor Magazine is another regular display at Widecombe Fair.

 

Vintage Austin 7 cars

Vintage Austin 7 cars

 

I never realised there could be so many red Vintage Austin 7’s …..

 

Vintage Austin 7 cars

Vintage Austin 7 cars

 

There is always a good display of Austin 7’s.

 

 

Greyface Dartmoor sheep

Greyface Dartmoor sheep

 

In the livestock part of the Fair, there are three sections for sheep, Greyface Dartmoors, a rare breed …..

 

Scottish Blackface sheep

Scottish Blackface sheep

 

Scottish Blackface …..

 

Whiteface Dartmoor sheep

Whiteface Dartmoor sheep

 

and Whiteface Dartmoors.

 

Whiteface Dartmoor sheep

Whiteface Dartmoor sheep

 

The Whiteface is a breed “At Risk” and unusually for an upland sheep it is classified as a “longwool” sheep.

 

Children's Fancy Dress event

Children’s Fancy Dress event

 

Children’s Mounted Fancy Dress event – some riding backwards, to instil confidence!

 

One way to advertise!

One way to advertise!

 

I didn’t get to the sheep-shearing competition this year, always a good event for our more urban cousins to see.

 

Clothing display

Clothing display

 

A clothing display.

 

A glimpse into the adjoining field

A glimpse into the adjoining field

 

The photograph above shows the gazebos in the smaller field next to the main showground.

 

DPA volunteers on duty

DPA volunteers on duty

 

Berni, Val, Derek and Claude caught in a quiet moment – I had to wait a while to get them on their own.

 

Folk music in the beer tent

Folk music in the beer tent

 

The beer tent held the stage for the folk music. The Folk at the Fair event ran from 10.00 am to midnight, with the coverage in the programme covering almost four pages.  As I said at the top of the page – there are a lot things that I can’t do justice to in this blog.  This is almost a standalone event.

 

Trophy ceremony

Trophy ceremony

 

There are a lot of trophies awarded during the day.  There are 20 pony classes, 10 cattle classes and 29 different classes for sheep in the programme.

 

Announcer, Lloyd Mortimore

Announcer, Lloyd Mortimore

 

The masterful announcer is one of the things that “makes” Widecombe Fair what it is.

 

Tom Cobley (Tony Deeble) on the grey mare, Lilly

Uncle Tom Cobley (Tony Deeble) on the grey mare, Lilly

 

The Widecombe Fair programme has a section at the back about the history of the fair, and says that Uncle Tom Cobley and his friends went to it from Spreyton* in 1802.  The Fair could be a lot older than that.  It was originally a livestock fair where animals were bought and sold, depending on what supplies were available that year (food and fodder) and how many animals could be fed during the coming winter.

* Spreyton is approximately 6 miles east of Okehampton, north of today’s A30, 12 miles from Widecombe, as the crow flies.

 

Uncle Tom Cobley

Uncle Tom Cobley

 

Uncle Tom Cobley

Uncle Tom Cobley

 

Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon, Harry Hawk …..?

Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawk ….. ?

 

Grand Parade of Vintage Machinery and Farming Through the Ages

Grand Parade of Vintage Machinery and Farming Through the Ages

 

Grand Parade - 2

Grand Parade – 2

 

Grand Parade - 3

Grand Parade – 3

 

Grand Parade - 4

Grand Parade – 4

 

Grand Parade - 5

Grand Parade – 5

 

Grand Parade - 6

Grand Parade – 6

 

Winner of the Uncle Tom Cobley Novelty Race

Winner of the Uncle Tom Cobley Novelty Race

 

 

Racing for 2nd and 3rd places

Racing for 2nd and 3rd places

 

That was Widecombe Fair, 2018.