Planes and views and thrills…
‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ wrote Keats, presumably with October in mind.
For the Cleddau crew this October has developed into a ‘Season of trips and lunches in fresh air…’
First there was an outing to Shuttleworth for a trundle around the exhibits – aircraft, cars, buses, tractors and motorbikes – along with the Godmanchester Friends and US Don.
The Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden Aerodrome in Bedfordshire Old Warden Aerodrome, Old Warden in Bedfordshire, is a wonderful museum, where aircraft and vehicles are restored and maintained in working order. (The Collection was founded in 1928 by Richard Shuttleworth, and after his death during World War 2 his mother Dorothy set up the Shuttleworth Trust to maintain the exhibits.)
The last flying day of the season was two days previously, so there was a certain amount of tidying up still to be done.
Aviation enthusiasts adore this place, being able to get close up to wonderful flying machines.
Whether a flying buff or a social historian or a person with an eye for colour and shape this is a place where there is much to look at.
Were these volunteers doing a job – or just having a joyride past the hangers?
The magnetic draw of the sea at Freshwater West. Were these sandpipers along the shoreline? (No, oyster catchers, according to Techno Son-in-Law).
Then further east, there was another good lunch spot at Saundersfoot, beside the harbour, all decked out for the World Rowing Coastal Championships and the Beach Sprint Finals…
A final outdoor lunch near the sea was taken very close to the Cleddau Bridge. In the long view down the Milford Haven estuary are an oil refinery and power station on the south bank, gas storage tanks and wind turbines on the north bank and (centre left) the white bulk of the Irish (Pembroke Dock to Rosslare) ferry.
Emotion runs high in Pembroke in the second week of October as the Michaelmas Fair clogs the Main Street. Love it, (fast food, loud thrills and kiddies’ rides) or loathe it (traffic disruption and pedestrians inconvenienced) it still goes on, year after year after year. Medieval charters allowed Pembroke the right to hold an annual hiring fair for farm workers. The hiring is long gone now but crowds still flock to the Fair for entertainment, amusement and social interaction.
By 6pm the following evening drums were being assembled in the Town Hall lobby – and then with a strong repetitive beat a wave of red-topped drummers and percussionists throbbed up the street, leading the Mayor, mace bearers and other local dignitaries to the Fair. Local band Sambadoc, well known for their volume and versatility, did the honours.
At the Waltzers the chief players in the mayoral party assembled on the passenger loading platform, the Town Crier read the traditional Cry of the Fair, the Mayor’s Chaplain recited a prayer, the Mayor declared the Fair open, the bells were rung – and the Fair surged into action.
Nostalgia, there was such nostalgia…
October Trip Stats
664.6 road miles; 70+ museum exhibits; 2 peacocks; 4 outdoor lunches; 6 beaches surveyed / walked upon; 3 sisters visited;1 Irish ferry; I samba band; 4 mayors in regalia; 4 serious adult rides; 7 children’s rides; 0 swing boats; many tat and fast food stalls; 48 years since last attending Pembroke Fair…