Sunday, 22 August 2010

I'd almost forgotten...

It's that time of the year again. Normally we would be organising ourselves for more than a week of constant events starting at the Bank Holiday Weekend, but this year we only need to be prepared for one day. I feel sad, but relieved that this year we will not be going to the Great Dorset Steam Fair.

A chapter has closed. After 13 years at the GDSF, we won't be there. Looking back the show has changed so much. The first year we had a little battery operated radio for entertainment in our caravan. We would turn it on first thing in the morning to hear the news and weather. On Sunday, the last day of the show, the radio was playing morbid music and the presenter was saying..."she will be missed so much....the Royal Family are in mourning." We automatically thought that the Queen Mother had died, but that was wrong, it was Diana, Princess of Wales and little by little the details of her tragic car accident emerged. The enormous Steam Fair site was silenced. There are anything up to 25,000 people permanently on site during the show - it was the only time I have ever witnessed shock on such a grand scale. People were literally wandering around muttering to themselves in sheer disbelief.

Since that first year we have made loads of friends - we've watched ourselves growing older and seen the businesses progress. Our children are now all adults and every year we'd swap stories of the past twelve months, bringing each other up to date. There was the "GDSF Dining and Drinking Society Evening" on Thursday. Six or seven of us would prepare food, music and drinks for about 25-30 people, we always had a theme, last year it was "Beige", so everyone had to come wearing beige and all of the food and drink was beige. In previous years we have even insisted on full dress suits for the men and ball gowns for the ladies, we have had a Christmas party, complete with tree, cake and lights - all of this in a field!! I shall miss that camaraderie this year and also our annual trip to the folk music tent on Friday to watch "Lady Winwoods Maggot" a local band.

But I won't miss the mud bath or dust bowl the site becomes, the plastic tardis chemical toilets, the worry of theft/damage/harassment, or the long days and tiredness that takes at least a week to overcome. Then there are the hundreds of phone messages and e-mails to answer back in the office on Monday.

And all the cleaning afterwards....

So we're sorry to everyone that was expecting that we would be there as normal this year. I hope that no-one will go looking for us clutching their footstool frame in the hope that we can fix it for them. If you were hoping to see us then please give us a call, or pop over to the Oak Fair at Stock Gaylard on Saturday before the Bank Holiday instead if you can.

Lady Winwoods Maggot sum it up for us here singing "Time of Your Life" - it's time to move on.


Great Dorset Steam Fair

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