Monday, 13 May 2019

George The Third

Monday, April 29th - I took Bob to Wisbech to look at a Georgian town. This obviously sparked an interest - one week later, Bank Holiday Monday, May 6th, we went to Blandford Forum, yet another Georgian Town. Our first visit to this fine town was a year ago and there are lots of pictures and historical details on my earlier post.
But Bob had discovered that on MayDay they were holding a proper Georgian Fayre.
We set off early...
The free car park was well signposted, and as we went to cross the bridge, volunteers were collecting donations. £2 suggested- for which you received an informative programme - the monies all going to local charities, but I was pleased they were clearly sensitive, suggesting OAPs shared a programme, and children with adults were let in free. There was so much to see and do, £2 seemed a fair price. At the end of the square near the Corn Exchange was a fabulous Carousel. There were stalls all along the main street, up the side roads alongside the church and in nearby fields 

 The Lord Mayor, and the Town Crier were dressed intheir traditional robes, and walked amongst the stalls and exhibits, accompanied by the Carnival Princesses.

There was entertainment from the Mangled Wurzels, who sang cheerfully at regular intervals throughout the day.
The Anonymous Morris troupe, in their wonderful purple outfits, which bizarrely steampunk headgear hopped, skipped and danced around the square. There was also a team of Gurkha Soldiers doing their dancing with traditional kukri knives.

Many of the stallholders had put on Georgian dress. The lady in green was happy for me to photograph her, but insisted on concealing her mobile phone! The lady in the pink bonnet is called Rachel. She was one of those at a stall in the parish church - and is an old friend of two of my Ferndown friends.
 This stall was all about Georgian dress. The husband and wife team running it are costume enthusiasts. They make these outfits as a hobby and display them round the world- they have won awards at Venice and at Versailles for their stunning gowns and robes.
And she grew up 2 miles from our old chapel in Kirby Muxloe. What a crazily small world it is.
There was a wonderful display of classic cars - I couldn't take pictures of all of them. I thought the red and yellow one was a "Noddy Car" till I got close, and realised it was a Fiat. Bob was very taken with the Triumph - he travelled round France with his brother and sister in one like this, about 50 years ago!
The 1935 Beardmore Taxi with the info board in front was utterly fascinating. 
It was originally owned by Stephen Fox-Strangways of Melbury House in Evershot. He died in WW2 and the taxi was kept up on blocks in a garage till 1970. It came up for auction and a man from Weymouth bought it. The new owners set about restoration, then 2 years later, circumstances forced them to sell it. 35 years later, they saw it advertised on eBay - and bought it back! Now fully rebuilt and restored, it is in use again.
We left the cars and went for lunch in The Brewery Tap - this is the eatery attached to the Hall and Woodhouse Brewery. Our programme contained vouchers for cheap beer and 2-4-1 sandwiches. Food was good [but not sure I'd have wanted to pay full price] The weather had proved brilliant and we'd seen lots of interesting things. 
We decided to go home - and as we were passing Wimborne on the way, I suggested that a cup of coffee and a cake in Le Petit Prince was in order. LPP is one of our favourite coffee shops - we've been in there with the family and Rosie likes it too.
And as we walked from the carpark into the town centre, we passed a load more people in Georgian dress. Bob enquired as to why they were looking so splendid, and they explained it was the Annual Southern England Town Crier's Competition. 
There are some great photos on the Bournemouth Echo website [here] As we walked back to the car park, the MC interrupted a chap about to shout the odds, and said he had an important announcement. "The Duchess of Sussex has been delivered of a son. God Save The Queen!"
Everybody cheered. And we went home.
I think I have had my fill of Georgians for a bit. There will not be a George The fourth post any time soon. 


  1. What a wonderfu event to go to! I love costumed events like this!

  2. What a super day! That's my sort of Morris, too - not unlike Rackaback, the side I danced with in Hull.

  3. It all sounds so wonderful, Angela! Love those costumes, too!

  4. What a fun day - and those costumes were amazing!


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