Saturday, 17 April 2010


This was it, the big event that I had been planning for ( and stressing about) for months.... After a 2.30am wake up to make sure we got everything done in time, The Murmuring Wheel set off down the motorway at 3.45 am on our way to Countrytastic at the Three Counties Showground. We arrived on the showground just before 7am and just had time for a bit of breakfast before setting up.

We had taken 11 spinning wheels down with us. It was the first outing for one of them, our 17th century English Great Wheel, which was operated all day by Nancy.

We had lots of other equipment with us too to give the kids plenty to have a go at.

We were set up and ready by 9am and had time to chat to a few of the other exhibitors before the gates opened at 10am, a good thing we took the opportunity really as when the visitors started to arrive we got VERY busy - hence the lack of photographs, nobody had a free minute to take any. We found out afterwards that there had been over 4000 visitors!

Lots of children and their parents and grandparents had taken advantage of the glorious sunshine to enjoy a day out and we discovered quite a few promising young spinners and weavers among them. When they had been around our stand there was plenty more to keep the kids entertained, including The Sheep Show presented this time by Stuart Barnes, who we hadn't worked with before but who went down a treat with the audience.

Other attractions include a sheepdog display, terrier racing and a play area of hay bales and sawdust ( I think most of the kids liked the last one best of all!)

Adam Henson from The Cotswold Farm Park and BBC Countryfile was also at the event with his family, I persuaded Adam to have a go on my Great Wheel, which he did, producing a very........ interesting yarn. His daughter Ella also tried on mum's wheel and spun a bit of very nice wool.

If Adam happens to come across this blog ( not likely I know!) then we have a message for him:

" We hope your spinning has improved by next year as we will be back again. Get that spinning wheel out of the loft and get some practice in, who knows maybe we will save you a chair and you ( or Ella) can come and join in the demonstration!"

And if I get a reply to that I will be rather shocked!

We had a fantastic time and did actually get some work done. After seeing the sheep sheared on the Sheep Show, visitors could see us spinning and crocheting. We managed to make a crocheted a shawl during the day which we gave to Show Manager Doreen Smillie.

We want to say a big thankyou to everyone who organised the event, particularly to Doreen and to Education Officer Sue Hodgson-Jones. We were honoured to be part of such a well organised, fun and educational event and it was clear that you had put such a lot of work into making it the success it was.

We are looking forward to next year, it's the 21st April 2011 for anyone who missed this year and wants to catch it next time around.

Sorry that this post is a bit lacking in photos readers, but if you look here: Newsdesk there is a very nice one of Philip at the bottom of the article, we hope that the Countrytastic Gallery will be up on the TCAS website soon too.

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