136th Penistone Show 2008

The Day Went Well
Well, this one was nearly marred by the weather. It rained for a little while and was muddy underfoot but then the rain abated and glorious sun came out to save the day. In fact it was almost warm. Barnsley Chronicle said that more than 16,000 visitors came.

I think that the PFR 10km road race would have produced a line of soaking wet runners, as they would have set off in the rain. There was no spitfire fly-over this year but plenty of other things to see. As always, there appeared to be more than before and I have to say that I went home almost exhausted. Mind you, I was feeling 'off colour'. In fact I took most pictures when the weather fit my disposition than later when the sun came out. They give a gloomier impression that they really ought to.

Things to See
The first area upon entering the Show was vintage trucks, cars and motorcycles in spotless, gleaming condition, followed by a line of stationary steam engines. These made gentle popping and swooshing noises and mysterious smells. Then it was onwards to the Show proper. In fact smells came up a few times.

I enjoyed the ferret show, which might have been new this year. Also new was Poppi Chix; three glamorous girlies who gave a rollicking good performance of fast-paced songs to frenzied leaping about. They managed to bring back some colour to my pale cheeks, although I needed a break after about five minutes. Something odd there, I must have had more blood at the top instead of the expected less.

There were many little stands to visit and horses romping about in the rings, with tediously long waits in between. They should speed that up a bit. I had a good pint of Ruddles in a wobbly glass at a London price - £3 a pint. Well, it is a London beer. That was very welcome but there was not enough seating around and I had to stand. I found a seat in the Brass Band tent and enjoyed staying there for three tunes. I would have stayed longer but for a lady video-ing me more than was comfortable. Who knows what fantasy I might be weaved into on Youtube.

As always, anything without a displayed price was too expensive. And especially an almost deserted sweet stall that turns up every year. I hope the Show Committee makes a new rule about price lists, £5 for a liquorice string is taking the mickey. I could not find the army this year, but I might have missed them as I saw a few people wandering around in fatigues but the police (possibly hobby bobbies) were very visible, walking around in pairs.

ShowOld trucksBikesSteam
SteamWetLess wetBig horse
SheepJazz BandWallingWalling
BlacksmithsBlacksmithsWoodhead Tunnel groupBritish Legion

Continuing the Tour
I pottered around the animals, without understanding what they had to do to win, and happened upon a Jazz duo who I thought were oblivious to their surroundings. Including the wet. I saw two sets of dry stone walling and the blacksmiths put a lot of energy into making horseshoes. As always, Thurlstone Brass Band put on a bright and breezy show and the various arts and crafts stalls were all very interesting. Penistone Photographic Club did their usual good display as club officials sat placidly by and you almost had to fight to see the pictures. New for this year were a pair of pressure groups. One was to support Woodhead tunnel's reinstatement as a railway tunnel instead of the National Grid. The other was opposed to five giant wind turbines which are set to keep silent vigil over the otherwise unspoilt grouse moors of Langsett and the Peak district. There will be a few satellite dishes sold when that happens. Also new was a pig race.

Guarding a member's enclosure, the 'Corps of Commissionaires' chap was a gleaming example of gentleman's smartness. Not a hair out of place but with polished shoes, sharp trouser creases, polished sash and an air of polite but efficient authority. He made James Bond look like a scruff. The theatre group dressed up to promote their variety show and pantomine and the Punch and Judy show professor appeared to have more adults watching than children. The kids also had some sort of climbing frame and a little merry-go-round. The weather started to brighten up for the next pictures.

Poppi ChixPoppi ChixWide viewWide view
PolekittenMask faced ferretBand drummerBrass band
Big HorseVery fine gentlemanTheatre groupWide view
Wide viewPunch and JudyGypsy Rosa LeeRural tarmac

The Tea Leaf
I did not spend much time in the marquees. They were a overcrowded and stuffy and some stalls were shy about pricing. I bought some fancy Belgian chocolate in one of them but the stall holder was alert enough to catch, through the corner of her eye, a youth gobbling down stolen lumps of her chocolate. "You wouldn't do that in a shop, would you?", she asked, as the crowd took in the sight of the shameless youth, as though lit up by a spotlight. His girlfriend looked more embarrassed than he was, as his simpler mind was untroubled by conscience. Anyway, it was a good day and that was about it for 2008. Then it was off for a beer and sandwich and across some rural tarmac.


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