Thame Game & Country Show
A few weeks ago, a flyer dropped through the front door for Thame Game & Country Show, one of a series of shows run by Living Heritage. The show ran over Easter Sunday and Monday and there was an early-bird discount available for advanced ticket sales, so we decided to pick up enough tickets for us, my uncle (a bachelor who likes to have days out with small people that he can give back when they get sticky/screechy/overtired!), and a friend of the family who also liked the look of the activities advertised on the flyer.
Well, we had a lovely day and I’m looking forward to next year’s show already. We packed up a picnic and took blankets to sit on, but I have to admit to having been pleasantly surprised by the prices (and variety) on offer at the various food stalls. I don’t think £4 for a burger is actually that unreasonable when you have a choice of venison, buffalo, ostrich, antelope, wild boar or beef steak served by friendly staff from a very clean-looking and well maintained stall. We visited the dog showing arena and saw the beagles, otterhounds (bit noisy & big for Leo's liking), terriers and spaniels, watched some of the utterly chaotic lurcher racing, as well as seeing and making a fuss of loads of assorted pet dogs there for the day with their owners.
We walked through to the main arena and watched a little scurry racing (always a bit mad) and horse-boarding (utterly mad), and did a little gift shopping for upcoming birthdays. Meg and Matt both had a go at archery with a little expert tuition from Adrian Caddy and the ACA team (£4 for 6 arrows at an unhurried pace, with quality equipment and patient guidance on grip, stance, draw and shot).
We drank tea and watched a little of the bird of prey display, and wandered through the ‘living history’ camp with its traditional campfires and displays of traditional cooking and leatherworking. We had a go at target shooting, rekindling my enjoyment of handling and shooting an air rifle (and making me wish it was a less antisocial hobby to enjoy in a smallish suburban back garden – I’m going to have to look for a local club), and Leo got a ‘sharpshooter’ sticker once we’d all managed to get all our shots ‘in the black’ on the targets. He also got to enjoy a donkey ride on the beautiful and friendly visiting Blackpool beach donkeys (winners of the ‘Britain’s Best Working Donkeys’ award)
We visited the ferrets (and the hamsters. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting the hamster tent…), watched chainsaw carving, jousting and traditional woodworking. We bought a few bits and bobs in the craft tents, honey fudge from the beekeepers, and a good quantity of cheese, sausages, Welsh apple and blackcurrant brandy, and seafood in the food tent, and went home with aching feet but happy smiles after over 7 hours of fresh air and entertainment. All in all, a big thumbs up!