Wednesday 27 October 2010

The Gypsy and Country Craft Fair in Milton Country Park

Good news about Gypsies and Romanies gathering on private land in Milton! In Black and White (and colour too) on the Cambridge Evening News website. That was the satisfying outcome of last weekend's event at Milton Country Park. Because this was Candy Sheriden's second big event, the Gypsy and Country Crafts Fair.

I took my camera along on Sunday under a glorious blue sky and amongst the autumnal trees of Milton Country Park.

There was a small group of women chatting near Phoebe's cake stand but I couldn't quite build up the courage to start snapping away. Till one turned around and said, "Come on then, take a picture!" She held up a cake and mimed eating it to general laughter. The ice was broken as we tried different poses and even dragged in unsuspecting passers-by.

Walking on, there were stalls and people that I remembered from last June's event. People were generally friendly and positive. I recognised some of the glorious 70s chrome caravans and the flying silver lady on the bonnet of the old Bedford van. Childrens clothes in intricate needlework and incredible miniature tweed suits. The story teller in fancy dress and an impressive beard. The one sad omission was Bill Goodyear and his caravan. He had passed away since the June fair

As I ate my Gloucester Old Spot hot dog (fantastic taste!), I noticed something else. There were a lot of conversations going on. Men with a glass in their hand. Women exchanging news.

Meeting up with Candy, she explained why. This was the last gathering before the winter for families across the UK. A last chance to meet with friends and family, to catch up with what had gone on in the weeks before. The next meeting would not be till May next year.

I'm also looking forward to a similar event next year. Hopefully in the warmer summer months, rather than the biting October wind!

As a photographer and local person, I'd like to see:
Building on the high upmarket and traditional standard set by the June event. With the attractive caravans, vehicles,crafts and horses at the centre again. The open, friendly atmosphere.

What I'd hope to be absent:
Red and white plastic tape fencing off areas (good rope would look better). Plastic netting around stalls. These ruin any chance of a good wide-angle photograph! They distract from the quality goods on sale.

To have one successful event can be a matter of luck. To have two, shows vision and competence by the organisers and Milton Country Park. I'm curious what the next event will be like!

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