Saturday, September 22, 2007

Michaelmas Fair

Blimey - testosterone rush or what? Talk about something for the boys!
How much rubbing, buffing and polishing it took to get these babes up to steam I can't imagine. These throbbing engines are more cosseted than any woman could ever hope to be. There can't have been a man in Bishop's Castle this afternoon not salivating at the sight of these puffing, panting beauties.

The Showman's engines led the cavalcade of vehicles through the narrow streets of Bishops Castle this afternoon. They were followed by the road rollers (proper steam rollers), traction engines in diminishing sizes, lorries, tractors and classic cars. The air was filthy and loud with smoke and noise from the massed engines. We coughed and spluttered but even I had to admit these were majestic beasts.

...and some things, thankfully, will always remain a mystery.




This magnificent procession was only apart of a weekend of events in the small south Shropshire town of Bishop's Castle; the Michaelmas Fair. Bishop's Castle is a town with a certain je ne sais quoi - what it lacks in shops and facilities it makes up for on the feel-good factor scale. Perhaps it is on a fortunate ley line or the feng sui is right. I don't know.

With this in mind, even intermittent drizzle didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the many visitors this Saturday.
Music was medieval or ethnic, food nutritious and plentiful, crafts - well, craft-y and on the whole - this being Bishops Castle - quite tasteful. The Shrophire Bedlam danced and clattered their sticks - a most English thing this Morris/Moorish dancing. (Don't tell anyone - but I do quite like it..) I guess, once upon a time shepherds and milkmaids would have come to a Michaelmas fair - a hiring fair - such as this in search on employment but these days it's in search of entertainment and imported olive oil from the delicatessan's stall.

We could have stayed longer - festivities go on into the night with dancing and revels - and tomorrow will see the streets packed again. Well worth a detour. Bishops Castle, Shropshire, just off the A488.

15 comments:

Cait O'Connor said...

I've never been to Bishops Castle, sounds like a nice town and well worth a visit.
Thanks for sharing and the pics.

Pondside said...

I like the Morris dancers that come to the fairs here - don't know how authentic they are, but they all have British accents, so that makes them seem like the real thing!
The Great Dane would have loved to have been at that steam engine show! He has a very small engine that he bought for our son many years ago, but of course I know that he really got it for himself!

Casdok said...

Your right...boy heaven!

Faith said...

I'm afraid I'm a steam widow. Will show your blog to Hub3 when he gets home (he's at an event). I expect he knows some of those steam lads.

lampworkbeader said...

Brilliant blog and I just love the graphics. I need lessons in computers.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Hem Hem I confess I Love going to steam fairs. We used to go to a big one in Sussex - think it was Haywards Heath . . . fabulous day . . . really envy you your day out Mountaineer.

Boys and their toys . . if you can't beat them . . .join them.

Inthemud said...

We have a similar steam fair here each sept, we were there a few weeks ago, my hubby gets very excited!

We have a man down the road who has steam engines, we al get quite a thrill when they come chugging past the house puffing away!

toady said...

We usually have a big steam rally near here at Chapelton Barton but sadly cancelled this year due to the ground being too soggy. I remember years ago when my daughter was about 6 Oh managed to wangle themselves onto the footplate of one of the big ones and have a drive around the parade ring. Their faces were a picture.

Suffolkmum said...

Sounds great - I could probably pass on the steam engines, but the whole spirit of the palce sounds great.

Diary Farmer said...

It was a great sight, thought the relics were in great condition - the steam engines looked pretty good too!
Taken your advice - Lowlander

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Oh blast...here I was chained to the cooker and green tomato chutney...and where were you..in my favourite town!!! G is at the 6th Form there now ..loves it! Oh well too late for the Michelmas fair but the next do is the 'lights' in November isn't it?

Elizabethd said...

What fun, such a lovely English occasion that we miss here. My husband would have loved anything to do with steam engines.

Mopsa said...

Big man, little tractor, so they say, Fab photo!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Fab!

When I picked starwberries in Herefordshire, we were close to Much Marcle, which we of course called ' **** all Marcle' or 'not much marcle', where there was an annual steam fair.

Boys and their toys!

muddyboots said...

toot toot, steam fair up in driffield in august plus one at pickering! no morris men though..