The Triple Crown
We started this Sunday off at 4am, after a very long day on the Saturday, I am still a full time Game Keeper on top of all my other jobs, I had some of my birds arriving so had a long day ahead of me with my under keeper before even thinking of getting sorted for the show the next day, 4am Sunday morning found loading the trailer and truck with the Really Wild Adventures Shop stand and Pass It On Young Sports main ring show gear, my team and I left in plenty of time to get to the show and set up, I really love this show, its a fabulous celebration of the British Countryside, Agriculture and Country Sports there is so much going on at this show for real country people and beyond, far too much to list, google Frampton Country Fair and see for yourself, this show really is one for the diary for the whole family.
I got to the show, as smooth as silk we entered the show and were shown to our show stand area, prime position right next to the Countryman’s Show ring, now this is where it all went a bit wrong, there was an Irish Asian fellow in my spot, fully setting up his clothing stand, I enquired as to why he was in my spot but he just played dumb, leaving me no choice I had to speak to the organisers asking where we should set up now, as you can imagine the organisers were not too happy, apparently this fellow is well known for poaching stands if he does not like the one he has, I was happy to go wherever as I will make good of everything, but the organizers made him pack up and go back to where he should have been, this made setting up a little late, but all was cool as for me it matters not, my team and I were just happy to be there.
A short time later a lady I know who runs the area we are in and the show ring, came over asking can I do her a big favour? could I pull a rabbit out of the hat once again? Why I asked? can I do not one, but two more show ring appearances in a different format? Well of course I can do anything for a pretty lady I said as we both chuckled, as it was the Ferret Man had not turned up so could I fill his spaces, ahhhhhh a good ole hilarious game calling demo always brings a laugh, especially when there is audience participation, we actually drew a huge crowd both times with that one, as the laughter and cheering grew so did the crowd, I looked around to see folks sitting on shoulder to get a better look, this made the show run on and we actually went over our time both times, this was such a huge hit the show organizers have already booked me for several demos with my full kit next time.
The show itself was awesome so many families and Real Country Folk, I am hoping one day they will run it over two days instead of one, local food and produce too I came home with some fabulous goodies, the short drive home was a happy one after a wonderful day, where we well and truly pulled the rabbit out of the hat once again.
Now lets start off on the right foot here, all weekend I kept hearing people moan, what has happened to The Midland Game Fair this has gone right down hill, or this is not The Midland Game Fair? NO it is NOT The Midland Game Fair, this is The Weston Park Country Show, NOT Weston Park Country Show formerly known as The Midland Game, this is a Completely NEW show held at the venue that was the former home of the no more Midland Game Fair.
Right now that we have put that straight lets tell you of this my first Weston Park Country Fair appearance, in fact I nearly turned around and went home, but I am not one to quit. what should of been less than a two hour journey from my front door to the stand took almost six hours, need I say more than Birmingham, Accidents, Sat Nav’s going nuts, toll roads and well Birmingham in general, I blood hate driving anywhere near Birmingham, I finally got to the stand just in time before security locked the gate on the Friday Night, I just about had time to unload the van, set the tables up and make the van home for the weekend, by this time it should of all been done, sat down after a mighty camp fire meal enjoying a well deserved G&T but no I was still working like a dog, by the time I finally stopped it was time for bed, with the stand and my show ring to set up still to do early doors the next morning.
The Saturday I awoke at 5am still growling like an angry Bear, Ghastly BBBIIIIIRRRRRMMMIIINGGGHAM GRRRRRR, I dug deep and got on with the job in hand and got the show stand built and show ring before breakfast, by the time Mag’s my Secretary and John or Bear as we call him was set for breakfast I had already done a days work, they both said blimey you have been busy, I think the look on my face said I was a grumpy Bear before my first mug of tea as I half mumbled/growled Ghastly Birmingham, I had breakfast and my second mug of tea and a chill out came over me, ahhhhh that’s better lets get this show on the road, I was still not in the mood to suffer fools gladly, the first fool came in the shape of a traveller family, now I have some really wonderful traveller friends, but as always there are those in every walk of life that give folk a bad name, I would not let his child handle one of my very sharp hunting knives, this then turned into him saying he will stab my granny, quick as a flash I said good luck on that we buried her two years ago, before he could say another word he took one look at Bear and decided retreat was the better part of valour here, the rest of the day I saw so many of my traveller friends I had made over the years, nice people, most of their kids ended up in my show and helping, some I have known since they were kids themselves now with families of their own, blimey do I feel old, the first day came and went and I sat down after cooking my team a fine meal and finally getting my G&T, I headed off to bed and slept like a baby,
The Sunday I awoke as fresh as spring lamb, a real spark in my step, its amazing what good food, drink and great company can do to a Countryman’s mood, as with the day before I called my lungs out on every call I had and more, my show ring demos were packed out with so many folk at one point I could not even see my stand, the kids as always became the stars of the show, over both days I gave so many game calling and field craft lessons and advice, a shining light came in the for of a six year old Country Boy called Henry, he came onto the stand and bought a duck call and goose call, right away the boy picked up calling wildfowl as easy as breathing, seldom do I find anyone who can get it so quickly, this boy was on it like a tick on a Coon Hound as my Duck Commander buddies would say, I think I will dedicate him his own you tube video as he came to see me the following week in Yorkshire but I will get to that in the next part, he reminded me of my own son Ryan at that age, Ryan was the same he picked up wildfowl calling so easily when we were state side in Bass Pro but that’s for another story another time, Young Henry what a star, I am hoping to go wildfowling with him and his dad and we call them whistling wings in together as we watch them slip air paddles down whiffling all the way in.
I took an hour off to go see some chums around the show, I think the show looked wonderful, well set out with plenty for everyone to see and do, I caught up with my ole friend Pat Carey (The Warrener) and his good lady Sue, had a good yarn then went back to my stand to do my last show ring demo and some more calling lessons etc, as quick as the NEW show came it finished, I can only say as I found and I say bravo team Weston Park 2022 you pulled off a blinder, please book me in for next year.
The Friday started early again for me as I had to load the van all by myself again, my ole mucker Chippy was coming mid morning and I had so much to, I would normally drive the long drive to Yorkshire on the Thursday, but alas I was due to be at my Masonic Knights Templar Precentory and did not want to miss that, Chippy arrived in good time as always, we headed North in good time, but due to traffic around GRRRRR the midlands we added three hours onto our journey, but anticipating this I left extra earlier than I normally would, we got to the hotel booked in, headed over to the Doncaster Race Course and set up our stand in quick time, Night Pearl were next to us too as I would be helping them too this weekend as well as game calling and field craft lessons, book signing, main ring demos, oh and having a sweeping brush up my backside doing clearing up at the same time.
I caught up with so many friends, this is my favourite show to finish the season off with, I really love it in Yorkshire, the people and the place are wonderful, Brendan and the boys from The Grey Area squirrel group were near us too, I had a table booked at Whitby’s Fish and Chip Restaurant just over the road from the show, this is the best Fish and Chips in the world right here, you can say its elsewhere until you try it here, then you will see there is no beating it, the fact they do an awesome curry sauce and serve a fantastic pint of Guinness is by the wayside.
Show day Saturday started off manic and stayed like that, I was like a rabbit in the headlights, being called in all directions, book signing I sold out of all my books and had back orders now to fill as soon as I could get a new print run, game calling and field craft lessons, I lost my voice by the end of the day, the lads thought they went deaf.
Young Sport Henry came from Weston Park, I am going to dedicate a video to the boy, his dad had him out wildfowling in between the two show, I am told he played a tune so sweet the ducks and geese could not resists him, his dad bagged up and he swears its all down to young Henry Englandshires New Whistler, Henry joined me in my main show ring demo, it was like calling with my own son again, as that sweet music of the wild places filled the air, whistling wings of duck and the sound of the great ghost riders echoed around the show ground, every wildfowler, duck shooter and young sport drew like Geese into our decoy pattern, wing set, paddles down whiffling to our calling, what a show demo that was as I had a lead goose lead his skein of young sports right into my decoy pattern in the main ring, I got the lot with one shot, you don't see that every day, much to the laughter and cheers of the folk that now surrounded the show ring, my Chiwowa gun dog had to retrieve them, this was so entertaining and never fails to bring a laugh.
I met up with so many old friend and made so many new friends here in Yorkshire, the show was awesome the perfect jewel in the end of the show season that started in way back in February at The BSS at the NEC grrrrr Birmingham, the show finished and we packed up and said our goodbyes for another year with a smiling face and full heart also getting our annual team photo in front, (well behind this time) of the horse, some of the team had already left by by then time we thought of taking the pic.
Now Chippy and I were not done yet, I bought the Box Set of Ronnie Barker and David Jason's hit show Open All Hours a few months back, upon reading the blurb on the back cover it turns out it was filmed totally on location in Doncaster Yorkshire, in fact 1.9 miles from where we were stood, this was just too close not to go and find it, find it we did, a short video and few pics later we were on our way, obviously we had to have our photo taken outside of Nurse Gladys Emanuel's bedroom window and house too, I could just hear the echo GGGGGGrandville Fetch Your Cloth.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it, see you all next year or catch up with you on social media, I really cant wait to catch up with Young Henry and his Dad and see how they are doing.
The Triple Crown of Shows
By The Ole Hedge Creeper