Monday, 13 August 2012

180 years old.

Another Salen Show. This one was the 180th. In one of the tents was a great selection of photographs from previous shows.

It must be one of the prettiest show fields, right beside Aros Bridge, with the river flowing out into a sandy sheltered bay, and Aros Castle ruins sitting on the skyline, the single track road winding along the side of the field, the tide going in and out. The scene feels timeless though obviously it has changed in 180 years, it is lovely that it is still in the same place.

I was helping on the USCA produce stall at the show this year, so was there at 9am. Dropped Daughter and her friends' entries in at the produce tent. Unloaded the gazebo and local produce at our stand and drove the car out of the show field. Farmer gave a neighbour a lift on the condition that he would hold the Garden on A Plate entry to keep it safe on the twisty roads between Treshnish Farm and the Show Field at Aros Bridge.

At that time in the morning, the field was bustling with preparation with an air of excitement in the showing rings. The cattle pens were filling up with shining horned Highlanders being unloaded from livestock floats, the sheep pens filled with different classes and breeds, their keepers working away at final tweaks - polishing horns, brushing coats and cleaning toes.

Giant cabbages and neat rows of potatoes waiting to be judged.

The showing goes on all day. First prize winners then compete for the best in show prize at the end of the day.

It seemed to take hours for the judges to finish, before the doors were open and we could see if our party had won anything. Staying with us were twin 16 year old girls and a French exchange boy of the same age. They had all entered the cupcake class and Theo, from Chamonix, won a Third - he seemed more bemused than delighted, and the girls pride slightly dented. Daughter's pal got a second in the Nursery Rhyme drawing class, and a second in the Garden on A Plate as well!

Great music from Winifred Moir and her band. The sound system is provided by Sam and Rob who make our wood chip.

There were lots of pony and horse classes in the upper show field, plenty of stalls to look at, tugs of war (no accidents this time), demonstrations from Andy Fellows, a talented blacksmith who lives in Dervaig, a prize draw in aid of the Mull Slaughterhouse (I won £50!), and so much more than my photographs illustrate.

Plants were on sale from friends Norrie and Anna at Ard-dariach Hill Garden and Nursery, near Ardgour on Morvern, pictured above, and also from Lucy's wonderful garden, Lip Na Cloiche, at Ulva Ferry. Norrie helped Farmer a few winters ago do some work in the garden at Treshnish, but nature has won the battle over the last few years, and it is gracefully returning to the wild.

Daughter and friend entered Coco for the small dogs class in the Dog Show. We were all gutted that she didn't get a look in. The MC even questioned whether she was a small dog! Anyway Coco was blissfully unaware of it all, and we got over the disappointment - eventually. A dachshund from Dervaig won the overall Champion trophy.

The Show Committee work really hard to make the show happen, and this years Show was no exception - a great day!

Farmer helped put the USCA stall together in the morning, and then disappeared off home to catch up on some solitary farm work. He hates shows, which is a huge shame as Daughter and I love them.
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