Friday 2 August 2013

Real Wessex

Each year we try to get to the New Forest Show. It is a great three-day event where the great and good rub shoulders with people like us. The first day threatened rain, so we went on Wednesday, the middle day of the three.

Ringwood Brewery Dray
 We especially enjoy the parade of horse-drawn vehicles; sadly Youngs of Wandsworth is no more (our son ran a pub of theirs in Oxford) now amalgamated - so no more Youngs' farm, no more heavy horses. The local brewers, though, Ringwood, were there with a splendid turn-out.

Co-op Funeral Services
It may be just my professional background,  but I couldn't help noticing a certain funereal note at the show. There was a marvellously daffy 'hearse' which was a tandem bike with a sidecar and on it a woven coffin. Then there were various crafts, among them basket weavers - with just such another coffin on display. Among the heavy horse teams were not just one but two undertakers - clearly the only way to go if you want to have been someone in the New Forest.

Once again some of my pictures refuse to download but at least a few cattle and sheep have made it


Sadly my pictures of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, who were stars of the show, are among the refuseniks. So  you will have to take my word for it that whereas all the officials, male and female, were heavily overdressed, neither of their Royal Highnesses wore a hat, and both seemed splendidly un-stuffy.


In case this is insufficiently churchy, be reassured; I said Mass earlier in the day for our Ordinariate Mission in Southbourne.


  1. Sadly the demise of Youngs meant the end of their beer

  2. Certainly Youngs are no longer serving their illustrious winter oats, either to horses or humans.

    Winter Oats was my favourite cold-weather tipple whilst living in Richmond-upon-Thames, just five miles down the A305/205 from the Young's Brewery in Wandsworth Borough.

    There's just the one now:

    Amidst the many fallacies of acquisition, Young's Oatmeal Stout was 'poisoned by Wells' (whose Bombardier is, admittedly, superb); that said, this could be an interesting alternative: