Thursday, 9 August 2007

Bonsall hen races 2007

HEN RACING, HEN racing, I hear you say??? Yes - it's an old Derbyshire tradition, in the same vein as Toe wrestling ( http://www.feetforlife.org/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=695&d=11&h=24&f=23 )
It was all the idea to re-introduce it to Bonsall by one of the locals, Jeff Punchard. He gave the idea to Alan, the landlord of the Barley Mow, and since then, it's flourished. there are other hen races locally, notably at a village called Ible.
This is where it all takes place, on the car park of the Barley Mow (the white building).
This is a grainy picture of Jeff, taken at night, with a mobile phone camera, sorry I don't have a better one of him. He's a damn good whistle player too, and is the life and soul of the sessions on Friday nights.


Here's Alan, the landlord of the Barley Mow.

And here's the famous tee shirt .


These are two of the younger competitors, or should I call them 'entrants'?

This was the finest hat I've seen in a long time, and do you know, they didn't eve mention it on the PA system. I thought it was really good, so I give it pride of place on my blog.

Here's Alan again, showing his hen the arena, and showing US, the audience, what a fine figure it was.


Here he is again, marking out the finish line while his hen looks on.

Let the dog see the rabbit (or, in this case, the public see the hen).

If it was duck racing, I'd say he was a quack!
(Useless fact - did you know, a ducks quack has NO echo, and no-one knows why!).

The all-important rules of the races.

Heat one finally gets off - after Alan has sold enough beer!
THEY'RE OFF!!!!!

Oh, ohhhh - this looks like trouble!

Sure enough, a fracas ensued. As 'hen-pecking' is against the rules (see board), both these hens were disqualified.

She doesn't look too keen, does she?
(And it was HER hen).

This one went to the line - then promptly turned around and walked AWAY from it??

CONCENTRATE!

"HEEEERE, CHUCK, CHUCK, CHUCK........"

Heat 2 well under way. (But can you see the stuffed fox being used???)

A SERIOUS business, this hen racing.
This character appeared in the arena, the costume didn't help him win though!
And that was it - the hen races were over for another year.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Filey folk weekend.

Last weekend, I decided to take a trip to Filey for the annual folk festival. It's only in its fourth year, so is still a 'baby'. I did enjoy it, but there were no sessions, which is the thing I really love, as I like to be able to join in. I did get up and do a couple of spots myself, and the acts I saw were good, so it wasn't a bad weekend overall. Also, I got to do a bit of walking around the area. I've only been once before, when Colin and I finished the Cleveland way in the year 2000. I only spent an hour or so there, before getting the bus back to Scarborough. It's a lovely place, but as usual on the Yorkshire coast, and also on the moors, the local authority are FAR too greedy with parking charges etc. I parked on top of the cliffs for three hours, and it cost four pounds. If you're spending a week in these places, parking soon becomes an expensive game. The place I parked was little more than a field on top of the cliffs. Maybe £1:50 would have been fair? Oh well, that's my moan over.
Here I am, caught in full flight, playing my bodhran (pronounced 'bow (rhymes with cow)-ron, or bur-RAN, NEVER call it a BOD-ran!!!)
And here I am on the beach, getting ready for a paddle to that slipway beyond.
I made sure I didn't get the drum wet!


This is the lovely bandstand in the Crescent gardens.


This was my first view of the beach. The tide goes a long way out here, and when it comes in, there is hardly any beach.
The far headland is Flamborough head, which I walked to once from Bridlington in the snow - a truly wonderful day, as I've always wanted to walk by the sea, with snow on the beach. Today - NO chance of snow, as the sun was out, albeit accompanied by a cool breeze, just right for walking.

This is looking North, towards Filey Brig. That spit of land sticks out into the sea and affords a huge amount of protection for the bay. The sea on the far side can be VERY rough, and it's relatively calm in the bay, which makes it good for learning to sail, and there are usually a few boats about doing just that.

The flat sands make for a great play place - this dog was making the most of it.

Sails and sun - always look good together.

Looking out to sea towards Flamborough head.
A lovely view with the sun & clouds.

As I got up onto the nab, I got better views back to the beach and town.
You can see just how far the tide comes up.

Looking towards the end of the nab from the cliff path. The walk down there today was lovely, and the following day even better, as the sea had a bit more action in it, and I LOVE waves! The people in the foreground give you some idea of scale.
(If you can't see them - click on the picture for a larger version)

As you can see - not a serious walk, as I only had my sandals on. (They are pretty good though, especially for walking)

You can see a video of the crashing waves on my Google video site, here;
http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-5120038346922837906&hl=en-GB
This is looking North, towards Scarborough.
You can see the tower of Scarborough castle on the headland.

The people give some idea of scale - the waves crash over Filey brig.

The waves right in front of me were pretty good too!

Lots of people came to see the spectacle. These three went right to the end, and got wet.

WHOOSH!

Deja vu - I've been to this spot before when I finished the Cleveland way.
This is the end of walk marker (although Colin and I walked a further 3 days back to Helmsley via the Tabular hills walk) - you can read an account of that walk here; http://walkdiaries.blogspot.com/2006/07/cleveland-way.html )


A final look across the sunny, calm bay.