Today the weather was cooler than recently, but drier than more recently and with quite a nippy wind. However this was fine for putting two lots of washing on the line, and also fine for first of all walking the the 75th Uphill Village Show – a minute’s walk from our house, and then a five minute walk to the Summer Fayre in aid of our local hospice at Slimeridge Farm which is right next to the beach.
The Village Show is usually a bustling and busy event, the Village Hall full of lines of tables showing the prize-winning exhibits for the different categories, art, fruit, vegetables, wonky veg, children’s events, flowers, cooked items from soup to scones – just about all you could imagine a village full of people with varied hobbies and interests. This year, understandably there were less entries, and we visited at a quiet time so we had a good view of all the things other villagers had won prizes for. There was also an interesting exhibition of old photos and a written commentary from a villager who remembered the old times. There was also a small café open selling refreshments and home-made cakes. It was interesting to see there was just farmland where our house is now, back in the 1920’s. Later there were allotments, and later still there was a caravan park for holiday makers after the war.
We then walked down our road, turned left and walked a few hundred yards to Links Road which leads to the beach. Directly opposite us was Slimeridge Farm, which sits this side of the sea wall with the mouth of the River Axe on the other side. In the census of 1871, when John Harse and his family lived there, it was named as Slimbridge Farm, and in the 1881 census he was described as a farmer of 108 acres.. It kept that name until the early twentieth century and I have no idea why it changed. The present house on the property is a magnificent place, built in 1992 – or so I believe. Along the side of the road to the beach is a big pasture, rising up the sea wall and beyond the fence at the top are more areas for the animals which live on the farm – sheep, donkeys and alpacas. In the past I’ve seen horses in these lush grassy fields, but I don’t know if they still live on the farm.
Today, along the grassy bank of the sea wall was a parade of vintage vehicles, mainly buses, the old double-deckers, but also some coaches and one which was like a flat-bed with a crane on the back. I was most interested to see the old red buses, the ones with a platform on the back where passengers got on and then alighted, and where the bus conductor stood when there were no tickets to issue. The hospice charity had a wonderful array of all sorts of stalls, raffles, books, a fluffy pink pig race (wind-up piglets of course, not real ones!) cakes, bric-a-brac, little competitions to win various things, and a plant stall where I bought a selection of herbs.
We had a pleasant time wandering around, and we remembered a similar even held here many many years ago when we pushed my sister around in her wheelchair and every thing she entered she won a prize – including a clock in the shape of a teapot which we still have in our kitchen. She was always lucky in that way, when we went to the fair as children she always won goldfish or packets of sweets or little dolls, and I never won a thing! We didn’t enter any competitons today, just contended ourselves with a hot dog and our herbs.