Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Leighton Buzzard Canal Festival

A few weekends ago, I went to the Leighton Buzzard Canal Festival. I'd never been to this festival before so I tucked my camera and some spending money into my bag, and set off after lunch. The festival had been going on since the morning, and by the time I got there I think it was probably less crowded than it would have been earlier. That didn't mean that there was less to see.

The entire length of the towpath side of the canal as far as the eye could see was lined with narrowboats, and traffic up and down the canal was relatively busy. The festival was being held in a park, and was bordered by a lake and the canal, and a good part of it was set within a wooded area.

One of the first things I saw was this old fire engine. It was beautifully cared for and in good working order. It was quite a warm day, and I got to see the engine in action when the firemen in charge sprayed water in a great arc into the air, which fell as droplets and cooled everyone nearby.

This was my favourite stall, selling canal artwork. There were several stalls selling this kind of artwork, but this one was my favourite and i bought the watering can which is just behind the barrel. I'm hoping that I've outwitted Hooli, (my daughter's dog), who has managed to chew all my previous plastic watering cans to a useless mangled mess. This is made of metal, so should shrug off Hooli's dental attacks.

And there were craft stalls with demonstrations:

The stall next to these llamas was selling their wool, some knitting kits, and hand knitted items. Loved the llamas - just look at that cute little white one.

And then there was the Town Crier who was going around ringing his bell and calling out his message which he'd put into a poem. I caught up with him and asked if he was the genuine Town Crier for Leighton Buzzard, and sure enough he was. He said that the job is a voluntary one, and that he can't devote as much time to it as he'd like to at the moment. He is, however, the official Town Crier, and his uniform is supplied by the Town Council. It was a really splendid uniform, and he was a very nice man who was happy to stop and chat to everyone.

I came across a wood turner next, giving a demonstration of how you only need pedal power and some fresh air to produce a thing of beauty. It was quite amazing to watch him at work.
The broom-maker.....

and the walking stick maker.

And corn dollies - with demonstrations and lessons in how to make them.

And last but not least......
The Morris Dancers
(click to play the video)

It really was a great afternoon out, and it didn't rain at all!


Sally said...

Wow, I LOVE it!! Dee, I'm so glad you were able to go and enjoy yourself like that! The watering can is precious; now, we'll see what Hooli tries to do. :)

Take care, and it was SO nice to see you here today.

Jeanette said...

That looks like a awesome festival! I love that barrell and may have bought it if I was there! Thanks for sharing that with us!

Donna said...

I would have LOVED seeing this! How fun!! Missed you sweetie!!hughugs

Icy BC said...

Wow..I feel like I was there with you, looking at so many different things. They are all fascinating!

♥Rosie♥ said...

This looks a spectacular festival! Loved viewing your pics :0)

Shammickite said...

I would love to learn Morris Dancing.... but I think it's traditionally done by men only. Last time I saw live Morris Dancing I was in Winchester by the Cathedral. How nice that the traditional crafts of broom making, and corn dollies and basket making are still practiced. My mum used to make baskets. I would often find coils of willow and hazel and cane soaking in the bathtub!