Monday, November 22, 2021

Winter Droving 2021

Penrith, Cumbria. Thursday/Saturday 28/30-October-2021.

Winter Droving was one of the reasons we ended up living in Penrith. Our first Winter Droving was in 2016 when we came up to Penrith to visit our friends and had much more fun than I was expecting. We returned for subsequent Winter Droving’s and ended up buying a second home here. When Covid hit we stayed up in Penrith and after a year sold our London flat and made Penrith our main home. 

There was no Winter Droving last year and this year they made a number of changes to accommodate the pandemic. For a start they spread it over three days. I believe the thinking was that this would reduce each day’s crowd numbers and hence lower the risk of a super spreader event. 

I think three days was somewhat ambitious, just Friday and Saturday might have worked better. As it turned out the rain on Thursday effectively turned it into a two day event. 

On Thursday one of the excellent local bands, Ponyland, appeared in the upstairs room at Fell bar and did an excellent set. Loud and energetic, we were amazed we did not all end up on the ground floor.

Reducing the crowding was the logic behind abandoning the evening parade. Instead they had a static display of the animal lanterns in Saint Andrew’s Church yard along with an excellent fire-breathing Dragon which did flame-throwing every half hour.


Fire-breathing Dragon.

Apart from that it was pretty similar to previous years: craft stalls, excellent food stalls, street entertainers, a funfair and live music at several venues around the town centre.

I got roped in from the audience to help Nula Hula.

Nula Hula.

Big wheel.

The Melodrome returns. It clearly does the rounds as we also saw it at SolFest.

Music at the bandstand from Delagrave, another excellent local band.

We had our first guests staying in the new house: Mary's sister, her husband, their eldest and his girlfriend. They all seemed to enjoy it. Once the guests had departed we set off on a weeklong road trip...

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