Sunday 4th. May, 2014 – Back in Harness (on a day when harnesses were everywhere in evidence)! 

The exterior of Ladykirk which we visited with Tom and Dorothy this afternoon

Woke early and walked Mix before breakfast in the farmhouse. Then Rachel, Mum and I drove to Cranshaws where, in Ann’s absence, I conducted the service with help from Dorothy and Rachel on the theme of John’s Easter Message.

Back home I changed and then Tom and Dorothy collected us to go off to the Heavy Horse Show at Wooler. I was more than a little apprehensive about this because it had been raining hard all night and I have so many memories of wet show days in the west which were miserable in the mud.

We stopped off in Tweedmouth to visit HomeBase to buy the paint required to complete the loom room this week. We got a really good bargain: thirty litres of paint for the price of twenty litres and then a further 15% off. Not bad at all (and the reason we went to shop today). We also grabbed something to eat at Marks and Spencer.

We continued on to Wooler. I was convinced that I hadn’t been here before but Tom reminded me that I had accompanied him to a market here not all that long ago. Well, I had forgotten (it seems to happen more often now that I am retired).

There was a huge car park and we had no difficulty parking – the show had started at 9 o’clock this morning and was probably drawing to a close when we arrived, and many of the patrons had already gone home either having had a surfeit of heavy horses or having been defeated by the cold and wet (this morning it was extremely wet underfoot, we were told). However, we were fortunate, no sooner did we arrive than the sun came out and although many of the horses had left by this time, there was still plenty to see as we walked around the large ring in which the competitors performed. I took a number of photos which I have included below as a reminder of what we actually saw:

On the way in, Rachel met these dogs and just had to say 'hello'

We had wondered if we would see horses pulling a plough; we didn't, but we did see this horse gathering hay

There was quite a collection of old farm equipment -- all of it, I think, in full working order

When we arrived police horses were in the ring. They demonstrated crowd control and how the horses were able to isolate an individual and totally restrict his movemnt

This horse and carriage won the prize for best in its class. Both carriage and horses looked superb

This is the Co-operative funeral carriage with its horses. It too looked magnificent and the horses were glorious

I can't imagine that there is much demand for gun-carriages except, perhaps, for the film industry -- unless, of course, they are preparing for Scottish independence

A lovely pony which, I understand originates from Scandinavia

In the ring we were given a demonstration of the skills of this gun dog. He was beautifully trained and knew exactly what his master wanted him to do almost before he was told

We visited the craft tent which had several high quality exhibitors

There was a Birds of Prey section -- I admired this owl

We watched a parade of tractors -- some old, some extremely old, all in perfect working order and the pride and joy of those who owned and drove them

This stall advertised dog treats, so Rachel bought some to bring home for our dogs

As far as I could gather, this horse won the award for best decorated horse. Rather spectacular

This foal was not in the display ring, but doesn't it look good?

And finally, this horse and rider were waiting patiently for the final parade

I suppose that we spent an hour and a half at the Show and then we set off for home, but on the way Tom took us on a detour (no extra charge) to visit Ladykirk which is actually part of the same charge as Swinton just down the road from where we live. The complete charge is Fogo and Swinton, Ladykirk and Whitsome, and Leitholm and I understand that it is going to be part of a larger charge once the present minister retires! Tom explained that Ladykirk is a very historic building, important because it is almost on the border between Scotland and England and was the site of a number of important discussions between forces from the two countries over the years. I certainly hope to learn more about Ladykirk and its story.

It is a beautiful Church inside

We made our way home and Mix and I immediately went out for a walk. I got some of my pictures sorted out before supper in the farmhouse at seven after which we relaxed in front of the stove and watched some television – Happy Valley: it turned out to be a good story and really quite fun.

Watched a bit of the snooker and then walked Mix before bed. It has been another really good day.


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