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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Wartime in the Vale 2018


For Father’s Day this year, we thought a trip to Ashdown Camp’s Wartime in the Vale would be a great idea. I had to swallow my pride a little, as I used to perform there many years ago and was let go when a new entertainment organiser was brought in.

We firstly stopped at the fabulous Fourteas in Stratford Upon Avon to have a family breakfast (thoroughly recommend the G.I. Breakfast and Earl Grey tea!) before heading to Evesham.

The event has increased hugely from the small field event it once was. I could hardly recognise the place! We got there at midday, with no entrance queues and there were huge displays of military vehicles. The main arena had First World War and WWII vehicles, tanks and cavalry (best displays I have seen at a show).

There were lots of stalls (a few good ones, but 50% were annoying tat, Lindy Bop 50’s dresses, 80’s doing vintage or extremely overpriced vintage military (£35 for moth eaten military breeches that needed patching up, sewing and new fly buttons and lacing?!). It kind of reminded me of how War and Peace started to go, so they could entice young people and families.

Amazing box made by a WW2 POW out of newspaper!

I was also NOT impressed by one guy representing Help for Heroes, who made some kind of tongue-in-cheek comment about my ‘big buns’ and a bake sale, before somehow thinking it was hilarious to say “You know, if you can tear yourself away from Jeremy Kyle or whatever it is you do in the daytime…” seriously?!?! At least these two were professional!

Thanks to my friend Stephen, I had the honour of going inside the First World War tank, which was fascinating. Boy was it cramped! With lousy suspension and lack of headroom it would certainly be no good for just popping to the shops in…

One of the most dangerous places to be in the First World War, they were cramped with exposed scolding-hot pipes, toxic fumes, noise and more. Around 8 men would be put into these hazardous machines and many became ill or died from heat exhaustion, carbon monoxide poisoning from the engine, horrendous burns from the pipes or killed by the axis forces.

Back to the show!

For the little kids, there was a mini fun fair that certainly amused Betsy for 20 minutes before home time! The mini swing boats were actually from 1945, which was awesome!

I would say that it would have been nice to have some smaller entertainment spots, set up at a couple of other areas (other than the main marquee), but it would’ve been impossible. Everything is set around the central arena, which is obviously rather noisy and the main focus of the show. Any singers or music would get completely drowned out by the tannoy, pyrotechnics or engines!

I think I would go back for a day out with the family, but would bring ear defenders for Betsy Boo next time! There were warnings with most of the explosions, but some we were unprepared for and she soon started trying to hide!

I would thoroughly recommend the displays, which were fantastic, but if you go with shopping in mind, maybe go to a carboot sale before hand and just enjoy the rest!

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Crafty Gal Needle Felting Workshop


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On Monday I went to a day long needle felting workshop with Crafty Gal! I requested it from Mr. Mew as an anniversary gift and was soooooo excited!

The workshop was being held out Bonds; a gorgeous antiques centre just outside of Stratford upon Avon. I love going there anyway and the cafe is lovely! They have a special room at the back for craft tutorials and mine had lunch included too.

Denise Immediately put me at ease and I felt like I already knew her! Unfortunately for her, the other ladies had to cancel. Fortunately for me, that meant I got a 1 to 1 session! I decided upon creating a hare as I loved the over-exaggerated ears. We started the tutorial off with a run through of the equipment and wools and then started on the body. It took an awful long time to felt down the mass of wool fibres and I suddenly realised that this was the reason why we couldn’t do a whole animal for our Crafter’s Club tutorial in September. After a good 40 minutes we were ready for the next steps and we were on to the waistcoat. Well…I was in my element! We chatted and sipped Earl Grey as we stabbed at our creations and the time flew by. After a lovely lunch it was on to the head. Suddenly my hare was brought to life and I knew exactly who he was and what he did.

I would like to introduce you to Walter Shipdown; a local Am Dram director and former star of the stage, known for his stunning performance in My Hare Lady.

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I couldn’t believe the workshop was over. I could’ve stayed all night, whether she liked it or not. Luckily Denise was selling Crafty Gal goody bags of wool, needles and foam pads, so I got one to give to Ma and we did our own little felting tutorial together on Thursday. She is creating a fox and I am creating Walter’s leading lady…stay tuned!

Snitterfield Summer Fete 2018


This year’s Snitterfield Summer Fete them was ‘flower power.’ Originally stemming from the protestors of the Vietnam War, the flower children handed out flowers, danced, making the protest demonstrations into more of a peaceful performance piece.

There was less of the history, more of a loose hippy…60’s/70’s theme. I wasn’t singing this year, but was busy enough manning the Snitterfield Community Crafter’s Club stand. I wanted to show what we do, sell some items and get the word out. I managed to sell a pincushion cup, wrist corsage and paper rose card. Also, there were a couple of ladies that were really enthusiastic about the crafter’s club and knew others who would be too! This was my main aim for having the stand, so I was happy.

I decided to pull inspiration from Frida Kahlo. Yes, she died in the 50’s, but she was an amazing artist (fitting in with our arty stand) and wore amazing ethnic fashions and hair flowers. She was ahead of her time in fashion. I decided to leave behind the monobrow and upper lip hair that made her ‘natural’ look famous. I spend enough of my time trying to eliminate these things from my face.

It was hilarious seeing people dressed as Wombles and the dancers were awesome. They did a great demonstration afterwards and I joined in with much gusto!

I didn’t get to see much else I was mostly on the stand, but looking forward to meeting any new club members and to next year’s Summer Fete theme!