It’s over a week ago now since the Somerset Green Scythe Fair but I’ve only just got chance to sit down and go through all my photos having spent most of last week in Edinburgh for the Royal Highland Show.
Thankfully this year the weather was with us and the sun shone though strong winds in the week leading up to the event had left the long, thick grass lying over and somewhat tangled. That’s not going to stop several hundred enthusiastic mowers though, many of whom wait all year for this wonderful event to talk about their very particular passion and compete in what is generally considered to be the UK Scythe Championships.
Having made the mistake of entering last year, I was once again recruited into the Northern team. Paul and I had the tough job of mowing a 5m wide section between us but put in a very solid finish. How we actually did in the competition is anyone’s guess since nobody thought to time our race against the South but the East of England was generally considered to have won overall.
With all of the adrenalin and excitement of this still inside me, I found myself entering the time trials for the individual event and, worse still, making it through to the finals! The men’s event was once again dominated by Simon Damant of Cambridgeshire who took the cup not only for the 5x5m race but also in the new 10mx10m event.
For the ladies, Andi Rickard retained the cup for the third year with an ecstatic Beth Tilston in well-deserved second place. This year’s Quality Cup was won by Chris Riley, Mark Allery put in a solid effort to win the English scythe event, John Fenn was the veteran’s champ while Michael Hastings was named Young Mower of the Year and will surely be beating many of us in the years to come.
Massive thanks to Stuart and all the site crew and of course Simon Fairlie for starting all this. Not forgotten are the judges who scratched their beards over the tough question of quality, Tink for her tireless efforts during the time trials and the merry band of grass clearers. One lady spectating questioned me on the identity of one of that team remarking “Ooh, he certainly knows how to handle that fork, doesn’t he?”!