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Date : Saturday 14th October 2006.
Location : The Wasdale Head Shepherds Meet and Show, Wasdale, Cumbria, Uk.
Reason for visit : Chance to enjoy the valley show and to relax after yesterdays big walk.
People : Jill Rowland, Terry Bottomley, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Beautiful blue skies, from dawn to dusk.
Poster advertising encouraging everyone along for the big day.
After yesterdays 428 walk on the high fells above Wasdale, we took the opportunity to have a more relaxed day down in the valley below.
The Wasdale Shepherds Meet is one of the classic valley shows of the Lake District and was one we had not attended before.
To reach the showground we travelled up the valley.
On such a beautiful day we just had to stop and enjoy the view !
A classic view of Wasdale from the shoreline of Wast Water.
The fells at the head of the valley are Yewbarrow, Great Gable and Lingmell, with Scafell Pike under slight cloud to the right.
Canoeists add a splash of water as well as a splash of colour to the scene.
We parked near The Green and walked the short distance to the Wasdale Head Inn and the showground.
The small campsite is full on this show weekend. In the far field are the white tents of the show itself.
Welcome to the show, with one of the best Lakeland settings, and on a perfect early Autumn day.
This show, like the Borrowdale, has a history based on the Shepherds meeting at the end of the summer to socialise, do business after their busy summer activities, and to exchange lost and strayed sheep with their neighbours. Herdwicks in particular, are central to the history and competitiveness of the show.
A fine Herdwick Ram.
The red is a colour treatment traditionally used to dress the sheep for the shows.
The fences are traditional places to discuss the judging, the season, and life in general.
The show also has it's commercial side, with a small number of traders selling local produce, clothing, sweets for the kids,
and others giving agricultural advice or promoting the more recent venture of the Air Ambulance.
A fine display of Shepherds Crooks, the stock made from Hazel wood, the handles from sheep's horn.
Ah lunchtime ! All this show work makes you peckish.
Welcome to the Great Gable Chippy.
One of the great things about this show is the simplicity of the smaller events,
Here the under 5 boys get ready for the Potato Race.
Up and back, collect three 'spuds and race for the finish !
Sheep sheering, or as Terry called it, the sheep wrestling display.
No electric here, just manual clippers to do the job, so it takes a little longer.
Still it gives the other guys time to stop and chat over a pint of Wasd' Ale.
The easy going nature of the show meant that anyone could enter their dog in the show ring. There were competitions for the best displayed working sheep dog, a section for Lakeland and other Terriers, and this one for Twa Dogs trophy - two pets belonging to the same owner. Ann has a go with Harry and Bethan.
Jill, Terry, Ann and myself enjoying the produce of the adjacent tent (see above)
During the day there was Hound Trailing too. The dogs, similar to Fox Hounds, had been trained to run to a scent trail laid earlier in the day.
The ran from the adjacent field, high up above the fellside walls, round the full circle of the valley and back to the field. Unfortunately the start was not announced, and the outrun so far away, that the pictures do not do it credit, but the event was well supported by both owners and spectators.
Meanwhile we visited the Craft Market, under cover in the barn adjacent to the field.
Paintings by local artists as well as jewellery were on sale.
Click the links to sample their wares and purchase excellent CD's and DvDs of Lakeland scenes.
Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling is also an important part of any Lakeland show, and the sport is still very much alive today.
This first event was for the junior boys.
The idea is to topple your opponent without letting go of your grip. He who hits the ground first loses.
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Afterwards they used the same part of the field for the Terrier Racing . . . . organised chaos, but great fun.
They started four up from a wooden starting trapat the far end and raced the length of the field.
Several false starts, a best-losers entry to fill the fourth tap for the final, a photo finish judge selected at random from one of the onlookers with a camera, all accompanied by Glen's inimitable style of commentary . . . . and a winner was found and the prize awarded . . . to the delight of all concerned.
A grand day out for all . . . Click here for the sound and video.
( The video should open a new window and play in your Windows Media Player)
Sadly it was time to make our way back down the valley at the end of the show.
It had been a glorious day, the best show day for years, and the evening light on the screes didn't disappoint.
An evening view of the head of Wasdale.
The Island and the Wasdale Screes.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . time to relax and enjoy the day.
Previous walk - 13th October 2006 A Great End to our "428 Wainwright Fells"
A previous time at one of the Shows - 18th October 2003 The Buttermere Show