Saturday, October 27, 2018

Winter Droving 2018

Penrith, Cumbria, UK. Saturday 27-October-2018.

This is our third Winter Droving festival [2016, 2017]. When we realised that it was the weekend before our wedding anniversary it was an ideal opportunity to organise Lake District double-header. Mary's sister and brother-in-law, having heard all about it from us, decided to join us this year.

A packed programme of live music, craft stall, street food and a candle lit procession.

I didn't think any of the bands were professionals but what they lacked in slickness they made up for enthusiasm and talent. It was great to see such grass roots music.

This group fronted by three female drummers had an almost had a punk ethic to it. "Let's form a band, dress up in fancy dress and bash out some music". On further listening it became apparent that these were well rehearsed numbers and all done with smiles on their faces, clearly having a good time.

Eliza Gutteridge is semi-professional and has appeared on The Voice. Mid-set a couple of mobile buskers passed through including this mobile piano.

Then time for some street food from the Jamaican stall: Jerk chicken and festivals (a fried dumpling).

It was time for the Drovers' Cup, a four-part event with four teams competing: firemen, farmers, bar staff and locals. First was the egg throwing with the firemen showing some serious motor control and catching skills; they had clearly been practising.

Second section was the day of beer relay race. They substituted fruit squash this year to reduce the spillage of good beer. Again the firemen won.

The next was another relay race, this time with bales of hay and sacks of potatoes as befits a rural themed festival.

The last leg was Cumberland sausage eating. Four sausages and two members from each team. The thought of sausages determined our menu planning for the following evening - sausage, mash and onion gravy.

At this point it was time for a wander round the stalls and then to Dockray Hall for beer and supper with our hosts and other friends. A few held the table whilst the rest of us went out for the parade. Flaming torches - but no pitchforks.


Howling Wolf.




Wild boar.

Then it was back to Dockray Hall for more beer to round off the evening.

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