Lambeth Country Show
Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, London 19-20 July 2003
The Lambeth Country Show is the biggest free event of its type in South-East England, combining the attractions of a traditional country show with the unique character of Brixton and Lambeth.
Offering a huge selection of fairground rides, performance stages, community stalls and local attractions, the Show attracts between 100,000 and 120,000 visitors each year.
The Country Show makes for a truly magical experience - where else could you watch a 'Parade of Steam', dance to Almighty Dread, witness a Medieval siege re-enactment, see a Falconry display and enjoy the Butlins Red Coat show?
A vintage 'Clayton Shuttleworth' steam traction engine puffs its way around the park as part of the 'Parade of Steam'. Some of the park's asphalt paths looked a little worse for wear after the procession had rumbled over them.
Visitors get up close to a shire horse in the park. The Country Fair features a huge range of farm animals, including ducks, hens, sheep, cows, goats, horses and pigs. Judging by their reactions, it seems that it was some kids first contact with a real life thing from the country!
Every year there's a falconry display, and there was a fabulous collection of head-swivelling owls from around the world. The cutest was a white baby owl which looked like a white tribble.
A view of the Village Green, with Cromer Smugglers playing in the distance. Surrounding the green were a large collection of craft-based traders and community stalls - with the very popular Burrowhills Cider Tent conveniently close to hand!
A large performance area in the park hosted motorcycle displays, medieval battle re-enactments, galloping horses and parachute displays.
The Country Fair features horticultural and cooking competitions, where locals do battle for esteemed prizes in categories like Best Cactus, Best Jam, Best Cake and, of course, Best Turnip.
There's also some fantastic 'artistic' sections where weird and wonderful displays are created out of flowers and food.
This truly fabulous Courgette Penguin (complete with runner bean wings) was a worthy winner and made by Ariel Voss, who was just three and three quarters at the time. Respect!
The Brockwell Park ('The World's Smallest Railway in Public Service') was doing a roaring trade -so much so that there was a bit of argy-bargy going on at times, as passengers jostled for a place on the pint-sized coaches.
» Read report from 2002 Lambeth Country Show
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