Rosemary and I have been to The Game Fair many times, for a day. This year we decided to stay the whole three days, arriving in the evening before the event.
We set off just before 3pm on Thursday and arrived around one and a half hours later. I should have ignored Google and Rosemary and sauntered around the M25. Instead, we went through Hemel and then the Northern Orbital road which was totally stopped.
On arrival, we were shown our pitch, I have never been to an event where the pitches were all marked out with lines, stakes and also a label with our name on it. The pitch was large, we didn’t have our canopy so could not make full use of it, the result was people used the pitch as a shortcut when walking around. The showers and loos were all working, and I never had to queue to use them. In the future, we should take a BBQ and do a little more cooking onsite in the evening. Lots of friends had adjoining pitches, with big gazebos and feasted in style. Some feasted and drank far too late into the evening, so not a quiet site. We decided we were nearer the shoe entrance than when we’ve been in car parks on previous years.
The weather was rather wet on the first day. You can see the rain in the video blog. The subsequent days were drier.
What do you do for three days? You spend longer looking at the exhibits and spent longer over lunches. We saw several birds of prey demonstrations and particularly enjoyed watching the vultures. One exhibitor did tend to lose his birds. One time there was a large boom from a black powder gun at the other side of the Game Fair. This spooked the bird as it was coming into land, and after that, it disappeared into the nearby wood. This exhibitor must spend most of his time between shows enticing his birds down, no doubt with bribes of food.
The dogs are always fun to watch. There’s a mixture to see, owners, showing off their breeds of dogs. For instance, there was a show of many different varieties of terriers. All bred for the different environments they worked in. So what is the difference between a Norwich Terrier and a Norfolk Terrier? One has sticky up ears and the other floppy.
Then there are the working dog areas. Some competitions from having a go trail, demonstrations of tracker dogs to the International Gun Dog Retrievers. They were impressive in how they were controlled and how they covered the ground looking for their retrieve. They would dive into the water on the outbound and gently enter the water, head held high, on the return. Don’t want to get the pheasant wet!
Of course, we had to go and watch the ferret demonstration. They are so cute, but definitely rabbit killing machines. We also had a stroke of the alpacas.
I had taken my gun, so did shoot at the open clay shoot, put on by EJ Churchill. Did rather abysmally. Do not understand what has happened to my shooting of late.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities, guns and country clothing are obviously well represented. Others include all kinds of crafts, paintings, kitchen equipment, ranges, BBQs, gardening equipment, machinery, yurts and cars. There was even someone selling VW van conversions to campervans. To some extent, there is too much of this and not enough country pursuits on show these days. We succumbed to some secateurs and loppers from a French company (actually I think R would have bought anything off the chap cos she liked his cute accent).
We watched a few cooking demonstrations and were able to eat the results. So if you don’t know how to prepare a rabbit or a deer for the oven, then you could soon learn. Couldn’t see any vegetarian demonstrations on offer!! One area worth visiting is the food area where there were stalls selling all kinds of dishes. Normally we ate (and drank) there, or at the DeliVita Pizza place.
Selina & Phil joined us for what we hoped would be the driest day. In the end, it wasn’t too wet. Selina and I had a ride on the Kubota 4×4 track.
One aspect the Game Fair fails at was the use of single-use plastic for all their drinks. They could at least use paper mugs or the reusable plastic cups that most music festivals have been using for several years now. We of course had taken ours. The bars were more than willing to use them. R protested at one of the Information Points. It has got to stop.