April 7 – Framlingham Country Show

A Fun Day Out

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

I have been seeing signs for the Framlingham Country Show for several weeks now as we are living only 4 miles from Framlingham. Then I noticed the signs had an additional sign saying that the show was now going to be held at Trinity Park in South Ipswich. It was a bit further to go but it was a lovely day so we set off to experience a real English Country Fair.  The roads were not busy and the parking at the site was plentiful and well organised by the local scout group.

The site was huge and had heaps of tents and marques with stalls with goods for sale and food. There were several rings for various activities and as we walked to the main ring a Motorbike Stunt Team had just started showing off their talents. Luckily the ground was dry so their show went very well with guys riding motorbikes one-handed, one-wheeled, and backward. Also, they were jumping from ramps and through fire. There were also jeeps being driven on two wheels. One rider was only 13. A good show.

Then we walked around the stalls. There were lots of people looking but I hope people were also buying. There was a great children’s area with blow up slides and bouncy castles, dodgem chairs, zorb balls and bouncing on a bungee swing. But the most popular event for the children which had a crowd around it everytime we went past was the ‘Punch and Judy’ show. Weird, I never liked ‘Punch and Judy’ as a child and it still gives me the creeps but the children were definitely enjoying it. It looked like the theme had changed from when we were kids when it entailed a lot of hitting.

The thing I was most looking forward to seeing was the ‘Festival of Dogs’. All day there were different events on in the four different dog rings, including agility displays, Heel-to-Music, chase the bunny and dog training. There were dogs everywhere as this entire country fair was dog-friendly which is a lovely thing to see. There were so many breeds of dog and it makes everyone friendly as complete strangers will go up to people to talk about their dogs. The dogs were all really well socialised with people, dogs and crowds, it was really a lovely experience. Of course, the dog we were most drawn to was the Old English Sheepdog. She was smaller than Amberley but had little pink ribbons in her hair and got lots of cuddles from us. There was also a list of events that visitors could enter their dogs in, for example, ‘best 6 legs’, fancy dress, smallest, biggest and lots of others and they were very popular. There was also a stall and display of a breed called Honiahaka which sounds very Kiwi but they are actually a Northern Inuit dog which looks very wolf-like. One ring was set up with agility equipment by Paws of Parham so that dogs of all shapes and sizes could have a go at jumping over hurdles, running through tunnels, and up ladders. It was so cool to watch.

Another impressive demonstration was Jonathan Marshall doing falconry on horseback. One of his most impressive stunts was the falcon flying through the legs of the horse while both were moving. There was another display of falconry as well. Those birds are amazing and fly so fast. There were also static displays of tortoises, giant lizards and various snakes. I think there were spiders too but I didn’t hang around that long and Mike was already ‘exiting stage left’ LOL

There were two villages of medieval people, Vikings and Anglo-Saxons and they did fighting demonstrations as well as showing armour and weapons. We were also able to see the ancient arts of arrow making, axe throwing, wand-making and woodturning.

The other interesting thing that I wish I had found earlier was the cookery demonstrations. We saw the end of one demo and then watched Sophie Faldo, the Great British Bake Off Winner, make a blackberry mousse in a chocolate dish which looked easy to make but tasted fantastic. For anyone who tried Mikes and my effort at mousse in a chocolate cup, next time will be much better! There were lots of food stalls with interesting, innovative and inspiring food like fudge in amazing flavours, jams, pickles and sauces, baked goods, sausages, salamis and so much more.

A really fun day relaxing in the warm spring air surrounded by happy people and dogs – so many dogs.