A Sunny Summer Afternoon
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
This Sunday - 19 July - we went to the Scythe and Cider Festival at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. It was perfect sunny afternoon with a light breeze to take away a bit of the heat.
This was Wakehurst"s second such event and it was the perfect family day with lots people of all ages enjoying all the attractions, from birds of prey to scything competitions, pole lathe turning, spoon carving, shire horses and carriage rides.
There was a traditional Punch & Judy show, storytelling and talks and demo"s covering diverse topics like foraging for food, Indian street food, Aunty Joan"s sausages and talks on scything, cider and Morgan tea brew! Add to that the Morris dancers and afternoon tea with vintage jazz accompaniment and the Sussex Folk Orchestra, plus the Cider tent and you have a very heady brew indeed.
We had a great time and I"ve picked up some useful tips on scything technique as well as buying a new wickedly sharp Austrian grass scythe blade and fine sharpening stone to boot. Definitely look out for the Festival when it comes around in July 2016.
A last point is that Scythe and Cider is free to enter - but you have to pay Wakehurst"s standard entry and car park charges - then you are able to visit the vast and beautiful Wakehurst gardens site if you"ve done scything and cider quaffing!
Until next time.
Photographs top to bottom:
1. Once the scythers have mown the grass here is the old fashioned way of collecting the cuttings in to neat rows ready for drying as hay.
2. Very much a family affair from kids to grandparents, a great day out.
3. Surely too hot to be dressed in black on a hot sunny afternoon?
4. So that"s how Sussex trugs are made! There even some "gypsy flowers" on the bales in the background.
5. Scythings really back in fashion, didn"t you know? Even the Editor scythes - mows!
6. Pole lathe demonstration using a bungee lathe, one of many on the site.
7. And finally, one of the scything competitors attempting to level the meadow...