Bank Holiday

It’s been another Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK, which is usually the cue for chaos on the roads as people travel home from long weekends away and is a good excuse for us to stay close to home.

Just down the road from us is the market town of Newton-le-Willows and there was a craft and food fair on which we thought we’d take a look at.  It’s only a few minutes’ drive from our house so just before lunch we headed out to see what was going on.  We’ve been to similar fairs in Newton before and knew there would be plenty of stalls with some nice choices for a street food lunch.  We needed to do a bit of rehoming first though …

We had an unexpected visitor in the shape of this blue tit which flew in through the open door and got itself stuck inside.  My family did question why I was photographing it instead of getting it out, but it was quite happy sitting on the door frame and I thought it would be fine for another couple of minutes whilst I snapped a few pictures.  I love blue tits, they’re such cheeky little birds – I can never decide if it’s them or robins that are my very favourites, so I think it must be a joint favourite thing.  It took a bit of persuading to leave but eventually we got it out of a window and it flew away, not looking any the worse for being inside.

When we got to Newton, we found that the craft and food fair was divided into two locations.  On the High Street were food stalls from the local restaurants – Indian, Chinese, Thai along with cakes, milkshakes, sweeties and various other goodies – Newton is not short of places to eat, and the High Street is pretty cosmopolitan.  It’s great to be able to get such a good choice just down the road from where we live.

At one of the Indian restaurant stalls, a lady was doing henna tattoos and small daughter fancied herself with a bit of hand decoration.

Isn’t that fabulous?  I love seeing the swirly henna designs, and it was fascinating to watch it being done as well – much quicker and neater than anything I could have attempted with a tube of henna dye …

which is just as well as I think small daughter is going to be decorated with this for some time to come!  It’s lucky that she’s got a two week holiday from school!

As we had hoped, there were plenty of stalls for us to find some lunch.  We ate freshly made sandwiches on home-baked bread, pancakes, home made gingerbread and cake and then wandered up to the park at the other end of the High Street where the country crafts were situated. We spent a long time watching chainsaw carving (but not long enough to discover what it was going to be – we intended to go back to find out but forgot), we admired the birds of prey – this is an eagle owl, if I remember rightly …

We saw lots of traditional crafts including a stone mason (I didn’t know there were still stone masons around but I’m glad that there are and that all stonework isn’t machine-made these days), a traditional wood-turner, a man who made walking sticks, another man who made trugs, the local ranger service making insect houses, a lady who made the most beautiful wicker baskets (I didn’t dare look at them too long in case I wanted to buy them all to put yarn in) …

We found a stand for the International Guild of Knot Tyers(Yorkshire Branch) – who knew there was such a thing?

Small daughter and I were tempted to make our own rope (the proceeds went to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which was another incentive – the Air Ambulance services around the country do a fabulous job and have to support themselves through charitable donations) and school holidays are always a good time to practice a bit of skipping.

The rope that we made was made up of all kinds of bits and pieces – even knitting yarn, and something sparkly …

and was created by turning a handle to twist the three lengths of yarns/fibres together.  It was a bit like creating a yarn skein but on a much bigger scale.  Once they were all set up and ready to go, small daughter had the job of turning the handle.

At the other end of the length of what would become our new rope, a wooden block was being held to keep the three lengths apart.  They were twisted until the angle of the twist reached about 45 degrees …

and then they started to twist in on themselves.  Interestingly, whilst they twisted one way individually, they twisted in the opposite direction around each other.  The block was moved back towards the handle and the rope was created.

And yes, it is indeed a good size for skipping!

We were just on our way out of the park when we saw this dinky little caravan.

According to the man who was doing the readings, it’s an Eriba Puck caravan built in 1965 and originally from Germany.  He said it was built after the war by the aircraft manufacturers so it’s got the structure of an aircraft and an aluminium body.  It was surprisingly spacious inside too (yes I did look, no I forgot to take a photo) despite the fact that it is such a dinky caravan.

I liked his bright sign too.

The rain that had been threatening all day started to fall so we headed home; we’d been out much longer than we’d expected to be but it had been great to wander around all the stands.  The cider that I’d started a couple of days ago wasn’t quite ready to drink so we’ll save that for another day – this was a Christmas gift from my husband who knows I like to make things 🙂

It’s pretty fool-proof, I only had to add water and a packet of yeast and then I will be the proud owner of 10 pints of cider.  Of course, I won’t be drinking it all at once!

I hope you’ve had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend if you’re in the UK and if you’re not, I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend anyway!

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14 Responses

  1. weavinfool says:

    I am relieved to know you hadn't gone to that concert in Manchester.
    That looks like a delightful afternoon out.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Thank you. No, we are quite safe here but it's been a terrible time in Manchester and my heart goes out to everyone who has been involved xx

  2. Kaisievic says:

    Sounds like a perfect day out – I love the rope making!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      It was good fun! I liked that they'd used all kinds of fibres in the strands to make it xx

    • David Fenton Knol says:

      Mum, you tell a story very well. I felt the whole feel of the day. Most folks don't bother with the story. Too much time probably. Easier to type "LOL" twelve times on twelve posts. So thank you for sharing a great day. You never know whose day you may brighten in Longview Texas. ��

  3. Jo says:

    I love these type of events, there's usually a few like this to be found here and there on bank holidays. The traditional crafts are fascinating and it's good to know that people are still keeping them going, it would be such a shame to lose them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a lovely day you had! I visited Balenciaga Museum with my sewing group last Saturday and we really enjoyed the day by the sea. Irune

  5. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed this look around your local show. Especially enjoyed the rope making. Such a pretty skipping rope!

  6. SheilaHen says:

    Over the last few months I have successfully knit several pairs of socks using your lovely clear instructions, having never used a circular needle or dpns before. I have been telling members of a craft group of which I am a member about you and wonder if you do talks to groups (we are in S. Cheshire). Sheila

    • Winwick Mum says:

      That's great to hear, Sheila, I'm so pleased that the tutorials have helped! I haven't done any talks to craft groups but if you'd like to email me with some more information then I can see if we can work something out 🙂 xx My email is winwickmum(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Julie says:

    I'm way behind on blog reading …. what a fun visit you had, love the baskets….. I too would have been tempted to bring a couple of them home. Great length of rope you and DD made.

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