I’m very sorry to disappoint those who wanted to come along to the Show Site on Sunday to help with adapting it to our requirements but so many turned up on Saturday that we managed to get everything done in one very enjoyable day!
So what happened? I turned up slightly late as there was a traffic incident on the Havant/Hayling roundabout and the entire Hampshire Police and Ambulance Services turned out to help. So when I got to the showground entrance there was already a large number of vehicles, I had to park way up Forest Road and walk back to the gate which Phil Silk, the landowner, was opening for us and preparing to hand over a set of keys. Nice to meet Phil again and to meet his charming wife for the first time.
Once we had all entered the field through the “public entrance” gate we set about forming teams to do the various tasks required. Rory and Dave Ballard set to with Matt Lund in constructing a Bailey Bridge to span the stream in the re-enactor field, Dave Williams and Mr. Cotton set about clearing the entrance to the car park field with a willing team of helpers. Captain Evans took his new measuring wheel for a walk in the area earmarked for the arena, John Whiting and his crew attached the overgrown area at the bottom of the re-enactor field to reclaim the roadway through to the next field and I ended up in Gary’s posse entrusted with clearing the roadway entrance to the arena field.
I can’t give credit to everyone and I apologise in advance for my omissions, not only was there a really heartening number of club members getting stuck in to the physical labour but several non-members turned up to give a hand to ready the field for the show. Mention must go to in no particular order of merit to Colin Cross, Carole Lamsdale, Colin Lacey, Bill Atwell, Richard, Rosie, Jack and George, Beryl, Sylvia and Alan, Phil Pond, Roger Knight, Paul Hocking, John Edmunds and all those who, to my shame I have not forgotten – just temporarily misplaced!
Check out the gallery for pictures – hover over the gallery tab, then 2011, then click extreme gardening – or be lazy and click this linky – your slideshow awaits!
Using a technique borrowed from Tom Sawyer I ended up exploiting child labour, Jack Rixon swinging a sledgehammer almost as tall as him whilst I prised up the broken concrete with a dwarf pickaxe. His father didn’t seem to mind, being fully occupied playing with his Tirfor and extracting some troublesome stumps. In fact Jack seemed to be anywhere that there was a possibility of laying his hands on anything sharp, heavy, toothed or otherwise dangerous and, when he did manage to grab a spare implement, he wielded it with energy and enthusiasm, much appreciated by all
Something else that was appreciated was the food provided by Beryl, Carole, Rosemary and Sylvia who had been busy mixing in with everyone else involved with the remodelling and tidy-up exercise but took time to do a trolley dash around Asda. Fresh rolls, add ham and/or cheese garnish with tomato and salad and eat in the open air. Delicious! Then jam or custard doughnuts. A simple and sustaining meal that gave us strength to carry on through the afternoon.
So what have we achieved? A tidy up of the stream. Roadway vegetation trimmed. Fence posts in place and ready, once the concrete has set, to take new mesh to replace the broken chicken wire currently in place. Show field areas mapped out and car park entrance and pedestrian walkways cleared of straggling branches and brambles. We met and exceeded our objectives for the weekend and had fun whilst doing it.
Well done to us all!