Getting heavy again
In the mid eighteenth century Wanstead Park was the equivalent of Alton Towers with thousands coming out from London every week to enjoy all manner of entertainments and attractions. It is still a well-established and popular park with some lovely walks, woodlands and lakes with an abundance of wildlife.
Music in the Park is an annual local event with some great bands and other attractions, this year including Mr Alexander. I had a slow and leisurely set up on the Friday and then had the park to myself overnight. The new generator is brilliant, silent and very economical so I had all the modern conveniences of life plus a great view and some lovely walks for the dogs and me.
The best news is that I have passed the C1+E trailer driving test which means I can put all the extra props and equipment I had to banish after the VOSA episode. I am now officially licenced to drive vehicles up to 11 tons, and with the new weight plate I am now totally legal. All in all it was a worrying and anxious time and now the relief is considerable. I took the test with Chevron Training in Flint who were helpful and professional. The test itself was nerve-racking and I was convinced I had failed it after a mistake at the very beginning. The examiner noticed the mistake but said that as my overall drive was competent he would pass me. Hurrah hurrah!
After Wanstead it was on to Netley Marsh Steam Rally which despite a sunny day to set up on the Friday rained solidly all day on the Friday and again on the Sunday so I only had one day of performing. Luckily it was very hot and sunny all day on the Saturday and this meant it was fine for the Magic Lantern Show on Saturday evening. This was a new venture and the show, presented by Allan and Rene Marriott and was attended by about twenty people. They showed many of their Victorian animated slides. It was great to see these precursors of animated films which were shown to fascinated audiences 150 years ago at fairgrounds and events like the steam rally and to marvel at the advances we have made in film production.
And then on to the Isle of Wight, my favourite place in Britain. The Victorian weekend was vey busy for two days and the sun shone for both. It was nice to meet up with many of the Victorian re-enactors I meet at other events. I showed a film on the Saturday night and decided on ‘High Society’ which surprisingly went down very well with those in the audience who weren’t even thought of in 1956. A bit chilly for an open air film show though.
Grymmtooms Museum (www.grymmtooms.co.uk) were there and I haven’t seen them for years. It is a great joy they are still going. They present a Victorian travelling museum of strange and amazing artefacts and live in period tents behind their exhibition. They talk in detail about the exhibits and lead you into their mysterious world of explorers and strange beasts whose skeletons are shown. The stories they tell using the exhilbits are compelling and almost believable. One has the feeling they are probably fiction, but of a very high order and they make you want to believe them.
This weekend is Shrewsbury Flower Show again and the challenges of that very sloping but attractive site will be met again by Mr Alexander’s ingenuity and determination.
A few people have kindly asked whether I am OK as I have not posted a blog for a while. Thank you for your interest and concern. I have had some personal challenges recently but I am recovering from those and I feel sure normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
All the best from a road near you,