The good folk of Newton Tony had prepared for a year for this day, but the weather turned all their carefully laid plans on their heads. It poured.
We knew the attendance would be down when we approached the village: empty car parks where once they were full. But the meagre crowd around the village green was nonetheless surprising. The event organiser told us that they had received many cancellations from stall holders and exhibitors in the last 24 hours, including from RNLI (too wet for the lifeboatmen, perhaps?) and a static display of birds of prey (“their feathers might get wet”). My own view is that these late cancellations are like Nico Rosberg’s behaviour yesterday: totally unacceptable. It’s also bad manners. Small villages rely on stall holders and exhibitors to turn up to make these events a success. It was so sad to see so many empty stalls.
We were asked to go on early because the steam engines couldn’t get up a head of steam in the pouring rain! And so we went on in the teeming rain. It all went well until the finale: Daisy just decided she wasn’t going to play ball with the collar trick, which I must admit did annoy me – not just because it took the gloss off a good performance but because I still can’t work out why and what I did wrong.
Oh well, after the display we hung around for about 45 minutes to witness the thinning out of the crowd and then just left. No feedback at all from the organisers, but some lovely compliments from the hardy few who had stayed on to watch us.
It’s still raining as I write, some 3 hours later! Andrea used the fact that she was already soaked to fulfil her pledge to be soaked in ice water as part of MND fund raising initiative. What a hoot!
A break now until 13 September when we appear at the World Wellington Boot Throwing Championship in Wellington, Somerset. Wellies and Gundogs? Seems perfectly logical to me!