Hooters Hall

Posts Tagged ‘smallholding show’

East of England Autumn Show

We’ve just got back from spending the weekend in Cambridgeshire and going to the East of England Autumn Show. Out of all the shows we’ve been to this year I think this was definitely the best and not just because the weather was amazing.

The main attraction and difference from shows we’ve been to recently was the number of animals. The shire horse show was at the heart of things and there was a very strong presence from the RBST, with loads of rare breeds including native horses which was really interesting. There was a really wide variety of chickens, sheep and pigs as well as donkeys and goats. We did find the fancy rats,  I’m still not sure why they are fancy though.   

As well as the animals there was the giant vegetable competition, with the biggest marrow in Europe. There was a  very interesting sausage and salami making demonstrations from the Cambridge Self Sufficiency Group. Chris picked up some tips and has been inspired to try salami making. All the usual clothing and country accessory stalls were represented with a lot of good deals because it’s the end of the season. Chris bought a very nice tweed shooting coat and I got some muck boots. We also picked up yet more smallholding books from the smallholder bookshop stall. Food wise as well as some old spot sausages from farmhouse direct we also got a syrup sponge pudding from the old fashioned pudding company for our tea tonight.

There was also a vintage steam powered carousel, dog agility, welly wanging and archery so something to keep the whole family occupied. The East of England Agricultural society organised the show and they put on a number of shows and events throughout the year; which if they are half as good as this show would definitely be worth a visit. Here’s a link to their website http://www.eastofengland.org.uk/index.htm  

And here are some pictures of the day.

East of England Autumn Show

As you might expect most smallholding and agricultural shows tend to be in the spring and summer and I thought the show season was at an end. Not quite though. Next month on Sunday October 10th the East of England show ground in Peterborough hosts the East of England Autumn show. Organised by the East of England Agricultural Society it definately looks like it’s worth a visit. There are plently of show classes for rare breeds, a giant vegetable competition and fancy rats whatever those may be ! (I have an image in my head of a rat wearing a top hat or maybe a tutu). I’m also looking forward to seeing the shire horses and the victorian funfair. There’s also a food tent and of course plenty of country crafts.

We thought we’d make a weekend of it so we’re going up to Peterborough the night before. Of course there are plenty of hotels and B&Bs in Peterborough but I fancied something a bit different and my search led me to the farm stay website. Farm stay is a farmer owned consortium set up to market accommodation on farms, everything from basic camping to 4 star B&B. We’ve booked in at Lilford lodge a B&B on a 300 acre mixed farm about 10 miles from the showground.

Here’s the link to the show website: http://www.eastofengland.org.uk/Autumn_Show/Home_Page.htm

Here’s the link to the farm stay website:http://www.farmstay.co.uk/

Here’s the link to the B&B we’re staying at Lilford lodge : http://www.lilford-lodge.demon.co.uk/next.html

Chatsworth country fair

For garden lovers and fans of stately homes Chatsworth is a real treat anytime of the year, for smallholders and lovers of countryside pursuits the country fair on the weekend following the August bank holiday is definitely worth a visit. We couldn’t make it this year but Chris’ parents did and here’s their review of the day.

The country fair lasts for three days and is a really huge event. The setting is beautiful, being in Derbyshire in the heart of the peak district. We went on Saturday 4th September. The event is always held on Friday Saturday and Sunday on the first weekend of September.

The thing that struck us on first arriving was the ease with which we got into the car park field and were guided into our space. There were special roadways erected to help on the uneven surface. Everything seemed to follow the same pattern of being well organized and easy for visitors. There were plenty of toilets, brilliant food of all types including Chatsworth’s own brand of foods to eat or take away from the shop, all freshly butchered for you. There was ample space between aisles and so much to see.

As well as everything to do with food and drink. There was a chance to try clay pigeon shooting, archery, cross bows catapults and much more. The activities in the main ring and outer rings included mounted games which were very exciting, jousting with “Knights of Doom”, carriage riding and even terrier racing. In contrast to the hi-tec. of the main ring – the terrier racing operated with a few bales of hay, some bailing twine and half of an old bicycle.  Agility classes for dogs were followed by falconry displays. There was Scottish dancing, motorbike display team and freefall parachuting. Ferret racing was also popular.

There was so much to see and do but the whole event had a real feel good factor for people who love country pursuits. The demonstrations in dry stone walling particularly interested me, as I would love to try it. The pole lathe and the couple working sewing leather and spinning contrasted with the business in the craft tents but it all worked . The day finished with a fantastic aero duo display and the hot air balloons vanishing slowly over the trees. Magical.

A day not to be missed!