Friday, 5 July 2013

Show Time – Bathurst Royal Show

In among all the chaos in April, Mick and I snuck away for a couple of hours to visit our local show.

Firstly, we saw some of our Car Club member with their display of old cars and bikes. I forgot to take a photo – too busy talking.  Fancy that.

Then we went into the pavilions to see what the clever people had done. Some beautiful patchwork.

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My friend Cath made the French General braided quilt and took home a prize.  Well done.  It is a lovely quilt.

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There were heaps of stalls this year.  This one looked gorgeous.  We were strong and didn’t bring any home.

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Mind you, Mick is carrying a tell tale bag from another stall.  I did buy another merino skivvy from Woolerina.  It’s sad when they know you by your first name from making so many purchases, but it is the best clothing for everyday wear and most importantly travelling on the bike.  What we also love is the fact that they are a firm based in the Central Western town of Forbes. No, this isn’t a sponsored advertisement.

Although we are turning into old fuddy duddies we have to visit sideshow ally in the night time. 

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There is just that special something about all the colour and movement, the brash music, the cry of the spruikers, the screams of the girls on the rides and the main arena announcer in the background.

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I’ve never been good at most rides, having thrown up on several as a teenager.  Maybe that was part of the reason I’ve never been all that fussed on side show ally food.  I think the quality has improved greatly since 30-odd years ago, but I must say, it still doesn’t really appeal. The colours are just too garish – but that’s what makes it show food.

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One ride I’ve always loved is the sedate Ferris wheel. It’s funny, I don’t really like heights, but it has never worried me.  When we were kids we could see the showground in the distance from our back fence.  I’d sit there for ages watching the Ferris wheel going around. There isn’t always one at our show, but there was this year.  No, we didn’t even go on it. 

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I was delighted when we saw that the old Lauries’ Steam Merry-go-Round was back.  It hasn’t been here for a few years.

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When we were kids, there were  two merry-go-rounds, this one in sideshow ally, and another, bigger one behind the main pavilion.  We always went on the bigger one. It has horses and sleighs, but wasn’t steam driven.  We’d be really disappointed if we ended up having to go in a sleigh.  I can even remember seeing, in the late 80s, one of my old school mates with their own child on the merry-go-round.  I guess generations have ridden these same old rides. I wonder what happened to the other one.  It hasn’t been here for quite some years.  I look for it every time.  I do hope it is still up and running somewhere.

Anyway, here is some more of Laurie’s.

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How the style of side show rides has changed over the years.

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I bet you can nearly hear the steam organ music playing in the background.

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Bathurst has always been a big show, running over three days. The show has changed so much since we were kids. Back then, everyone dressed up for a special day out, most ladies having a new outfit for the occasion. We used to have a public holiday for Show Day on the Friday when I was in primary school, but that changed many years ago.

Bathurst Show has been in the doldrums for a few years due to a number of factors, but this year there was a good feel about it.  There was a good number of commercial exhibitors.  Up until the early 90s nearly all the car yards would have a big display and the Show was the place to have a good tyre kick, without the pressure of visiting a car yard.  For several years, there have been very few with displays, but this year they were nearly all back.  Great to see.  There were also lots of smaller traders. 

I remember buying lots of trashy things at this sort of stall during my teens, when we were allowed to meet our friends for the afternoon, before meeting Mum and Dad in front of the main pavilion for tea and then being able to meet our friends again afterwards.  It was great fun.  I shudder to think how much money I spent on a couple of years, but it has all created some great memories.

Unfortunately, the craft section is still not doing very well.  There are so many creative people in our midst, but they don’t seem to like to enter, thinking that their work isn’t good enough, or that they aren’t making things to win prizes.  I just think it is great to see what people have been creating.  It doesn’t matter if it wins or not.  Mind you, I haven’t entered anything in Bathurst for years either.  Next year that is going to change.  I WILL enter something.

Although we were only there for a couple of hours this year, we ran into heaps of people we know.  That’s half the fun of the show.  People seem to have time to stop for a chat, not having to rush off somewhere, and we are all there for a good time, so everyone is in a good mood.

I’m glad we made the effort to visit, even if it was only for a little while. Hopefully, next year we can stay all day.


Jewells said...

When I grew up in Orange (36 miles from Bathurst), more people went to the Bathurst Show instead of the Orange Show... must admit I NEVER went to the Bathurst Show. Great to see the "old" rides.

loulee said...

Looks like a great day out.
Shame not so many people enter the craft shows. It's the same here, I know I'm guilty.