Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Village Life - Outdoors

Nothing can stop an English village celebrating its
traditional festivals, even if the ‘tradition’ goes back only a dozen years or so.

Village pubs and cafes benefit, as does the one and only souvenir shop.
Well, why not.

Valley’s End is away from all major roads and cities
and has little apart from its delightful scenery to attract the visitor,
so an invented ‘tradition’ like the spring festival brings a bit of profit to the rural economy.

The organisers work hard to provide all kinds of harmless fun;

there’s archery,

there are riding displays and medieval jousting


there is music like this band of drummers,

and many booths selling food and drink,
genuinely home-made arts and crafts as well as mass-produced tat.

Many village organisations advertise themselves and their wares here
and the Women’s Institute always has a stall selling cakes that disappear
as fast as snow in summer.

Everyone is happy.

As the field is right outside my garden hedge and people troop
past all day long through what is usually the quietest and most
secluded path,
I am always very happy when it’s all over.

This is a contribution to Our World Tuesday.
Click on the link for many other contributions.


  1. daar word heel wat goed werk verzet.en als iedereen er van genoten heeft is het toch heerlijk geslaagd.

  2. The first photo is great. It looks as if they have been shot with an arrow. It is saleable.

    1. PS. I was referring to the second image.

  3. Hello:

    These 'events' can be great fun and often serve to cement a sense of community. Sometimes though, as in the past when we have been 'roped' in to assist in something similar, we are left thinking that it would be much easier to ask all the participants for £5 and, most likely, more money would be raised. But that we know is not in the spirit of it all. Enjoy the peace which, hopefully, has returned.

  4. That sounds like fun! I wonder if there are any little festivals like that around here that I can attend. You've given me a quest, Friko. :-)

  5. Oh that's a lot of fun. We used to have something similar around where I used to live.

  6. Thank your lucky stars that they do not have terrier racing....

  7. oh what a cool event...i want to go to a medieval festival...we do have the highlander this summer....cabre toss and such...everyone running around in kilts....smiling at your last bit...

  8. Looks like a good show. . . with a fair number of folk at it.

  9. That looks like fun, but I can understand why you're glad when it's over.


  10. Indeed, there are many of these invented traditions up and down the country that people are very attached to, and they get a lot of fun out of them. I love the really bizarre things like cheese-rolling contests, maypole dancing, bog snorkelling and Straw Bear Day. If there's anything that's truly British, it's these utterly weird customs.

  11. Mass produced tat. Tat? The English do have a way with words. Strumpet has always been one of my favorites.

  12. Looks like a great day out!! Boom, Bobbi and Gary.

  13. I don't think I'd like to have it outside my hedge, Friko, except for the cakes, and I'm no longer allowed to eat those. Life is still worth living as long as I can have salmon, and cheese, but if it's ever discovered either of these favourites are linked to high blood sugar, I'll offer myself up as a target at your neighbours' fair.
    Meanwhile, I hope you and your beloved and Millie are well.
    Luv, K

  14. Thank you for the dual perspective. I would like to see a fair like that - but would hate to have it just outside my garden. Hipocrisy at its best.

  15. I would be happy to see it end too. At least your country lane is quiet most of the time.

  16. Looks like fun for may
    but I am like you
    and live off the beaten path
    and kind of like it quiet :)

  17. People in your village know how to have fun.

  18. Where I live every little village has its own fair and the best is always the homemade pies :/)

    I hope a is well with you


  19. Nice when the crowds leave, yes. Summer diversions

    ALOHA from Honolulu

  20. At least you have a great vantage point for photography. And with it being so close you can pop out, have a look and hurry back home as soon as you like. And get it early for a CWI cake. I'd love to see the archery and jousting, have never seen a real live jousting.

  21. Looks like there were really quite a lot of people, which is good. I just hope they did not let the drummers drum too close to the horses; it appears a rather small corded off area for the riders with people standing so close by. Can you believe I've never actually been to a village fête in England?

  22. I used to love small town fairs, there doesn't seem to be as many around these days.
    It's so much nicer to wander around than the annual big "Royal Show". There's just too much to see in those and the noise and dust levels are horrendous.

  23. Most colourful and thinking what fun it would be to be dressed up partaking in the events and tasting all that great food. Noisy, Yes, but then it's gone till next time. Great photos.

  24. This looks like a super fun festival. Valley’s End sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I love that they have jousting! And I bet the food is amazing! I love festival food :)

  25. Crowd and noise is fun part of festival. You had lots of people passing along your garden hedge, but you could take wonderful pictures of the exciting events including those people – that’s a deal. Are there litters left behind on the path? Enjoy the stillness of the place during the rest of the year.


  26. I love town fests and fairs but I suspect if they were walking by my hedge, I'd be glad it's over, too! Hopefully they said, "That's the prettiest garden we have seen!"

  27. We just took the grandkids to Scarborough Fair a few weeks ago. It's fun... with food, music, archery, jousts, etc. But it's not very authentic... just entertainment with a hint of authenticity. The booths sell a little bit of everything (no good pies though) and lots of people are "in period costume". If the weather's good, it's a fine day out,,, a little like a giant picnic. But I'd love to go to one in England. We did hit a few "market days" when we were there in '96!

  28. That's right, Friko, everyone is happy and the village life is fun! People need some joys and talk, chat, meeting etc. I love seeing these festivals, I usually buy some souvenirs, drinks or food.

  29. Hi Friko - nothing like a festival to upset the apple-cart of quietness .. but at least you can oversee what's going on .. and I guess everyone in the village is happy to meet up and join in .. gather a bit of gossip and generally entertain themselves - I admire all who put things on for community life - hard work it is ..

    Lovely photos and at least it was dry even if heavy ... cheers Hilary

  30. Our Medieval Festivals are a bit hooky....I bet yours are more traditional and charming...just guessing. I wondered how you got those photos. We are not far from the museum and when they have their rock and country-western music concerts (4 or 5 a year) we do not like those weekends because we can hear the noise on a quiet night from 4 miles away.

  31. I wish I could be there! But I get why you are not so very sad to say goodbye to the crowds…


  32. Friko, you are a fine reporter of local goings on. Very close.

    Let's see, what would I have enjoyed. The cakes for sure. And I would probably have loved the drums and wanted to try it myself. There is a very talented duo of conga drummers who regularly perform for contributions, while traveling a subway train route that I also regularly ride. They are so talented. I don't always give them money, but always enjoy their call and response way of talking through their drums. We laugh together when they tell me I could be their protogee. I do love the art of percussion!

    My other heartfelt reply to this post is that it reminded me of the years when I lived in a large derelict loft in NYC's Soho, long before Chanel and Prada deemed it suitable for their shops. Brave tourists always came downtown to see the fledgling galleries and restaurants every weekend. At a certain hour...about 5:30 on Sunday, it was bliss to the rest of us when these consuming folks went back to their neighborhoods.

    See, Friko, yet another topic for us to chat about another time. xo

  33. Medieval jousting would be an attraction for me - the bloodless sort, of course.

    While I welcome the tourists to our part of the world, I avoid going downtown as much as possible during "the season." I'm afraid I will run over an unwary visitor on the crowded streets and can never find decent parking. Once in awhile Tim and I will go down in an evening and wander around, part of the crowd, watching the buskers, listening to the music and eavesdropping on people's conversations. Come September, all quiets once again.

  34. I can imagine the world tramping past your gate - a fine show for an hour, but wearying after an entire day. Was there music? I sometimes wish that this sort of celebration could happen with no background music of tinny calliope tunes.

  35. Ooo - I just love village fairs!

  36. Always look forward to our village fête. Takes me back to my childhood, when my grandmother used to exhibit her fruit, veg, and flowers. Happy days.

  37. I've always read in English novels about the village fete and the tea tent and the various goings on -- this sounds nice -- and you can observe from a distance.

  38. I remember garden fetes of long ago - how I was in awe of them, especially of the man with a thousand pockets and the bounties to be discovered therein. The plants tenderly raised - a gift of a rich council - in hope of a prize.
    I was a child then and think we have lost something beautiful - the joy of nature - and how we as humans, contributed to it.
    But now, perhaps, if on my backdoor- I might be irritated by the festivities. I really don't know...
    Anna :o]

  39. All the little towns have festivals around here, too. People all over love special days, I guess. :)

  40. I love a good festival and enjoyed hearing about yours. Thank you Friko.

  41. It looks like fun, but perhaps not just outside one's gate. Our village church had a Victorian weekend last weekend to celebrate 150 years since its rebuilding. Now that WAS fun and not too noisy. :-)


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