Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Witness In Hampshire.

This isn't a post about my wanderings around Hampshire, however, in my working life i get to see and witness a few things that happen. Occasionally, they happen in Hampshire, and on this day in Portsmouth. As a television news cameraman, i happened to be at the Naval base in Portsmouth. The following is a post from my other blog,

It's not every day that you get to witness another small part of your country's military decline. But that is what i did yesterday as i filmed the homecoming of HMS Ark Royal, the only ship capable of carrying and launching fixed wing aircraft from the UK's once mighty fleet. In a short sighted and swift decision the UK Government decided to scrap our only aircraft carrier due to our nations straightened circumstances. Basically we can no longer afford it.

As the ship slipped quietly into Portsmouth Naval Base for the last time, it seemed fitting that she was shrouded in fog and sea mist, lest the rest of the world see what, in my opinion, is a very short sighted error, which in today's world of small wars, localised conflict and occasional disasters, may come to haunt our current governments decision.

As i filmed for Channel 4 News and the ITV Networks, i couldn't help feel a sense of sorrow for those aboard such a great warship that could have served for many more years to come. I myself served aboard HMS Ark Royal during my time in the Army and have great memories and photo's of my time serving alongside the Royal Navy. So the day had a double meaning for me personally.

Me aboard HMS Ark Royal. 1991. (Rear row, centre)

I know, good looking, rugged chap wasn't i ...? Those were the days though, single and travelling the world, meeting interesting new people and places... and nicking their country. Ah, back when the British had an empire and Britannia ruled the waves.

But those days are long gone, along with my hairline, and sleek muscled, toned body. Still, at least our government hasn't decommissioned me.... Yet.

So here is the film that Channel 4 fashioned from my days labour. A fine effort, even if i do say so myself, but i can't help thinking that i may have been a witness to just a little less of Great Britain than when i woke up that morning.

Rule Britannia... and God save the Queen in full chorus.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Farlington Marshes, Hampshire.

Farlington Marshes in Hampshire has to be one of my favourite places in Hampshire. It has pretty much everything going for it, including wildlife, countryside and coast. The marshes are owned by the Hampshire and Isle Of Wight wildlife trust, covering around 300 plus acres of the northern reaches of Langstone Harbour, near Portsmouth.

Farlington Marshes reed beds.

Personally, i enjoy coming here at any time of the year as there is always something different to see through the seasons. The landscapes are constantly changing, with the tides revealing mudflats and reed beds at low tides. Low tide is the best time to visit as i think it gives you more to see in terms of wildlife that come to feed on the mud dwelling creatures among the eelgrass and algae.

During the Autumn months the marshes are visited by large numbers of Brent Geese, overwintering on the marshes where food and shelter is easily found. To see the Brent Geese arrive or take off at once is quite a sight, and i enjoy seeing them on a yearly basis. The reserve is also important for other species of birds at other times of the year, such as Mallard, Gadwall, Pintail and Widgeon.

Mud Flats. Easy food for passing wildlife.

Easy walking paths surround the reserve.

 There is a good solid and level walking path that surrounds and criss crosses the reserve, and even a small area for car parking that is easily accessible from the nearby M27. the walk, at a guess, is around one and a half to two miles long, and is a blast of fresh sea air when you feel the need to get away from it all. Not only is it a place to see the wildlife, but a great place for plant and insect life during the Spring and Summer months, that is just as important to the local ecology. I enjoy Farlington Marshes, and will continue to do so. i very much recommend it.

Paul Martin. 

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Deep In A Hampshire Hedgerow.

You have probably guessed by now that i poke my nose into all areas of Hampshire, well, almost. Walking the back roads of Hampshire reveals a beautiful scenery, with rural landscapes and wild places that most people just walk, or drive past. Not me. So much so, that even the humble Hampshire hedgerow makes for a good afternoons snooping about, especially in the Spring and early Summer months.

At this time of year the hedgerows are bursting with life of all varieties, including plant life and insect life, which as you can see from my video here, can be hard to see. You really do have to get in there and look hard if you want to see the insect life. Once you get your eye in it's a match for any jungle, with predators, the hunters and the hunted all vying for a slice of life that goes on in the undergrowth beneath our very noses in Hampshire.

I'm sorry i cannot name any of the species here, but there is a huge amount of differing insect life, much of which i couldn't fit onto this little film. Maybe i will save that for another time, but for now i hope you enjoy the small offering here, and next time you pass a Hampshire hedgerow, stick your nose in and squint. You will be amazed at what you might find.

Paul Martin.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Bluebell Woods In Hampshire.

During a recent trip out towards Basingstoke, Hampshire, earlier this year, i had the great fortune to come across a bluebell wood that i didn't know existed, until the flash of blue caught my eye from the car. Luckily, i had my camera with me from work, so i stopped and filmed the colourful spectacle that presented itself.

Sights like these in Hampshire are becoming a rare treat, and on top of that, only last a short while during the early months of Spring. I find that walking through woodland in Hampshire is the best way to find and see these types of things, so i felt very lucky to have seen them whilst driving in the car. The sun was shining that day which made the find all the more special, so after filming them i just sat a while with my flask of coffee and watched. The insect life and the peaceful surroundings made for a very pleasant time. Sit still for long enough and the wildlife will appear, many people forget to just sit and watch and let the scene before them unfold. So next time you happen upon a bluebell wood, take the time to really see it. Stop, listen and watch. You will feel a lot better for it.

Paul Martin. 

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Hangliders And Paragliders, Butser Hill, Hampshire.

I was digging through my footage library the other day when i came across some video of hangliders and paragliders i had filmed whilst on Butser Hill, Hampshire. Butser Hill is a great place to see the rural landscape of Hampshire, with wide ranging views over the Meon Valley and beyond.

It is also a perfect site for sports such as hangliding and paragliding as the updraughts created by Butser Hill give perfect conditions to ride the air as the people in the video show. There is a large car park at the top where you can sit and watch the world go by, or take yourself off for an invigorating walk along the chalk escarpments that make up part of the South Downs Way, or even walk down the hill to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park for a cup of tea in the cafe. But be warned... it's a long walk back to the top.

I come here quite often in all sorts of weather and time of year, the landscape is forever changing through the seasons and the views can be quite spectacular on a good sunny day.

Paul Martin. 

Monday, 16 August 2010

Video: Throwing Pots In Selborne, Hampshire.

I know that it has been a while now since i promised you all a video of my visit to the Selborne Pottery. I filmed this short video on the mobile phone to show just how easy it looks for a professional potter to throw a simple clay pot from scratch. Robert, the potter gave me a quick tour of his studio, the original post you can see here. So, at last, here is the video....

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Where Have All The Pubs Gone?

On my travels around Hampshire, I am the Hampshire Traveller after all, I have noticed a few things. One of them being the hub of community life, especially in rural areas, the good old rural country public house. Many have been around for as long as the town or village has been in existence.

However, country inns and pubs now face their biggest challenge. Pubs around the country and indeed in Hampshire are closing their doors at an alarming rate. Depending on who you talk to, there are many reasons for this. Drinkers are staying at home with less money to spend on evenings out. Alcohol is cheaper to buy in the large supermarket chains, government red tape and high alcohol duty rates. They all have a part to play in the demise of the good old English pub.

Always a good sign ....

So, will the rural village pub survive? I think so, just not as many as before. With tastes changing in what the pub goer wants from a night out will change the look and feel of many rural establishments across Hampshire.

Local ales and other drinks such as ciders and wines are very popular with younger drinkers, and more such drinks are regularly being made by small local producers around the county. I certainly think the days of rural pubs selling a limited choice of drinks are long gone as people are now much more mobile than before, and can easily choose where to go.

Rural pubs ... enticing.

Hampshire pubs are also a good place for locally produced food. Good local produce can easily be resourced from around Hampshire, and todays pub goers actively look for this in the menus. Good pub food is a must for any rural establishment, as most visitors now expect this service when visiting a rural pub. Full blown restaurants are one thing, but good, honest down to earth pub grub remain very popular.

With Hampshire being a mainly rural county, there remains a great many places to visit with great pubs, food and drink, to be found. So, if you find a good country pub with a warm welcome and a roaring open fire, then treasure it and use it. Make the village pub once again the hub of village life ... before it's gone forever.

Paul Martin.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Watching The RNLI Coming Home.

Portsmouth RNLI station is situated at the entrance to Langstone Harbour, Portsmouth, Hampshire. A busy little station covering the South Coast and the Solent, possibly one of the busiest sailing and shipping areas in the UK.

RNLI Lifeboat returns safely.

Whilst out for a walk along the beach today, I had the pleasure to see the lifeboat returning safely from another call out.

Coming back home ...

Next weekend sees an open day with displays from the team and other RNLI volunteers. The open days make for a great day out by the coast and are very well attended. So come along and lend your support.

Paul Martin

Thursday, 5 August 2010

A Walk Around New Alresford, Hampshire.

I had no particular reason for visiting New Alresford, other than to have a pleasant afternoon walk around somewhere i haven't really explored yet. The first thing you notice is that it is a very good looking town with wide main streets and a colourful disposition. Built mainly in the Georgian era, the town is made up of village type cottages, town houses and old coaching inns from times gone by. It is possible to still look along the roads and imagine what this town would have been like hundreds of years ago, without the modern traffic and street furniture that tend to inhabit the squares and main roads today.

Looking down Broad St, Alresford.

Pound Hill, West St and Broad St are the main areas of interest that will hold your attention. At this time of year the roads are colourful and bright and sometimes a bit too busy traffic wise, but a pleasant place to be nonetheless. A stop for coffee at an independent coffee house was welcome and i spent a good half an hour or so sitting and watching the people go about their business.

Beer and food....

If you are in need of more sustainance, there are a few old coaching inns on the main roads and square, perfect for good food and fine ales, wines and more if the mood takes you, beer gardens and a little sunshine make for a pleasant experience. There are of course a good variety of cafes, cake shops and tea rooms to choose from, all within a short walk from each other, so you don't need to walk very far for a change of scenery.

Walking around the town i also discovered the church of St John the Baptist, the churchyard of which holds the graves of soldiers of the Napoleonic wars, including French prisoners of war, and a variety of other historical buildings relating to the Second World War, including a house that used to be the Headquarters of the 47th infantry regiment of the US Army. One of the main attractions though is the nearby rail station that attracts steam lovers from all over the world, as it is part of the Watercress line, and is busy on a daily basis with steam locomotives, lovingly restored by volunteers, and a good reminder of how our transport system was before Beeching.

Steam locomotives ... popular.

I also had the great pleasure of walking the mile or so of the Millenium Trail along the banks of the river Arle, a sparkling chalk stream that runs along the valley at the bottom of the town. Walks and trails criss cross this area, and other walks can be joined from here, but on a warm sunny day it was great to see the wildlife and plants that live and grow along the river banks.

So it was a pleasant surprise to come upon the Fulling mill, which straddles the river, and was built around the 12 - 1300's but is now a private residence.

Fulling Mill....
The river Arle....

So, i would recommend the visit to New Alresford, even if for just a short stroll along the river banks and a coffee stop on the flower lined streets of the town with a frothy latte, and a large piece of chocolate cake. If the weather is with you, you will not have a more relaxing afternoon.... Enjoy.

Paul Martin

Monday, 2 August 2010

Dinosaurs On Southsea Common.

I have no idea why or who is behind this exhibit on Southsea Common, however, whilst driving along the coast road it was hard to miss ....

Apparently, it is made to scale, and is a true representation of a dinosaur that roamed the earth millions of years ago. I have no idea how long it will be there, so get yourself along to Southsea Common, Hampshire. You can't miss it.

Paul Martin

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Navy Days, Portsmouth.

Unfortunately, I was here for work, but made a little time to take some pictures from the Royal Navy extravaganza that is the Navy Days, at the Royal Dockyards, Portsmouth, Hampshire. I have been visiting this show since I was a child and it never ceases to amaze me. They put on a great show every time, with warships from the Royal Navy and foreign Navies, the latest gadgetry and weapons systems and the men and women from the services on show.

This year saw the newest and most advanced military and naval hardware on show, including the Type 45 destroyers HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless, newly commissioned into the Royal Navy, and proudly on show this weekend.

More military hardware than you can shake a stick at is also on show such as the Merlin helicopter, with the flight crew ready and willing to take you on board and show you the instruments. Everywhere you look, there are things to see, service personnel to meet and a great deal of military toys to play with, with close supervision from Naval personnel of course!

There are also plenty of things to see that the general public rarely get to see, such as the Naval clearance diver teams, who take great delight in splashing the kids with their flippers from the diving tank, so be warned.

Navy Days are of course a great introduction to the operations of the Royal Navy, many of whom are serving in hostile environments and other war torn regions of the world, so it is good to remember the service and sacrifice made by many of the servicemen and women of the Royal Navy and of course the Royal Marines, who face combat in Afghanistan on a daily basis.

So if you are thinking of joining up, there is no better place to visit than the Navy Days, at least you have the option of signing the dotted line, unlike years gone by when men were forced into the Royal Navy, if they were unlucky enough to be taken by the men who roamed the drinking parlours of old Portsmouth on the lookout for victims.

Part of the weekend I always like to see are the re-enactments of the old days, where you can see and experience how it was like to live and work from days gone by, and witness the history of the Royal Navy as it was formed. A great deal of effort goes into this, and there are a great many types of demonstrations to be seen from old muskets, to cooking on an old warship, and many many others.

The Navy Days are a great day or even a whole weekend out. It may take you all weekend to see and experience what the whole show has to offer. So if you like climbing over Naval Warships, experiencing the history, or just fancy a day out that is very different from the norm, then a trip to the Royal Dockyards is a must.

Paul Martin.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Harbourside In Lymington.

I had the great pleasure of visiting the New Forest town of Lymington today, whilst working. Travelling Hampshire and getting paid at the same time is always a bonus.

Specifically, I was at the quayside at Lymington harbour. Chock full of private yachts, small pleasure boats and array of various other waterborne craft, it was a pleasure to sit and just watch the watery world go by, and check my jealousy ratings looking at the larger boats.

At this time of year the yachting world is gearing up for Cowes week on the Isle Of Wight, so every berth is taken. However, I spent a very pleasant half an hour or so just sitting on the quayside with a cup of frothy latte from a nearby coffee house watching the boats go by, and soaking up a little sun into the bargain. So if you have a spare half hour, do drop by and just sit a while.

Paul Martin

Monday, 19 July 2010

Butser Ancient Farm, Hampshire.

Today has been one of those days when you find something to visit, and when you get there you don't want to leave. Tucked into a lush green valley just off the A3 near Waterlooville, close to Butser Hill, is the Butser Ancient Farm. This place has to be seen in the flesh as it were, to understand and appreciate what it is that is being achieved here.

The farm is a replica of what a farm and village would have looked like at the time of the ancient Britons, around 500 BC. The village and farm roundhouses have been painstakingly built by the owners and volunteers as not only a museum, but as a working farm and experimental archaeological site, that can be visited by the public and school or university parties.

This is David Freeman, a working archaeologist and builder of many of the ancient buildings and roundhouses that can be seen here.

Having sat down with him for about half an hour i came away with my head crammed full of historical facts and figures, how the roundhouses were built, who lived in them and their way of life. I couldn't cram all of the recordings together so i have split them into three separate stories which are best left to the expert .....


Having told me one thing about the ancient Britons, David told me more .....


Finally, we got onto the people that actually lived in these buildings, and exactly what the Romans thought of them .....


David was a guy who certainly knew his history. Having given me a short tour of the farm, i came away with a great deal of knowledge that i previously didn't know, about the construction, the way of life, and what it is to be an archaeologist today and the techniques they use to uncover and understand the ancient way of life.

Look closely at the buildings and you can see the painstaking work and knowledge that has gone into the building of this ancient farm and it's buildings. This can only have been achieved by rigorous research and a lifetime of work in studying the ancient Britons and their life. The farm itself is a pleasure to walk around and is quite easy to navigate around. I was expecting something larger in format and size, like a modern farm, but that is the point. Ancient Britons lived in sometimes small family groups and farmed the land close to them with crops and animals, and the Butser Ancient Farm is a good and accurate portrayal of what life would have been like hundreds or thousands of years ago.

So, if you do ever find yourself out this Summer and fancy something a little different for the kids to see, you can take them along to see the people working here, with events and demonstrations all year round to fire up the imagination. And you never know, like me, you might just learn something along the way.

You can visit the Butser Ancient Farm website HERE.

Paul Martin

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Hampshire Car Boot Sales.

There is of course a great many car boot sales around the county of Hampshire. My local boot sale is at the Country Market, at Sleaford near Bordon and is typical of it's type, with a great many bargains to be had on all types of things from clothing, electronics, games and kitchenware, to a sports car, spotted for sale here today.

As with any car boot sale though, there are a great many pitfalls to buying things, especially electronics, so try before you buy. However, there are plenty of antique style furniture, pottery and memorabelia on sale in what is rapidly becoming quite a large car boot sale here at the country market. So if you have an eye for spotting a rare piece of china, or are looking to make up a collection of star wars figurines then a car boot sale may be where you will find it.

This particular car boot sale takes place on Wednesdays and Sundays, from early in the mornings to around mid afternoon, when most of the bargains have been snapped up. So set your alarms early to bag one! Oh, and bring a few quid for one of the burgers here, i can recommend it.

Paul Martin

Friday, 16 July 2010

Frensham Fire.

It was a great shame that over the past week we learned of the full extent of the heath fire at Frensham, just over the Hampshire border into Surrey. A short walk around the area left me in no doubt that a great deal of damage had been done to the heathland, the flora and fauna, and of course, the wildlife which will have suffered a catastrophic blow. The Surrey and Hampshire fire and rescue services, along with teams from the countryside rangers, did their best to contain the flames....

I did get the chance to speak to one of the head rangers, during his lunch break on a very busy day for him and his team, and was told that over 150 acres of heathland had been destroyed or very badly damaged by the flames, however the seeds from the heathland plants stood a good chance of survival, and could be growing again sooner than we may think. However, the wildlife will have suffered greatly, with many rare and endangered species having taken a big hit, and may decrease in numbers quite heavily at this time in the spring and summer breeding season, with their young still too young or unable to flee the fire.

I think it will take quite a while for the heathland to recover. Not being a heathland expert i don't know what or how quickly the heath will take to regrow, or for the wildlife to re-establish itself over the coming years, some species may never return, such is the rarity of some species. I hope i am wrong.

I will endeavor to get some more information on this from the countryside rangers, however i think that they have more to do at the moment to make sure that fire doesn't flare up again in the coming days, so i will leave interviews and audio until they have some spare time to talk to me.

Paul Martin

Audio: The Hampshire Medievals.

Sorry that it took a while to get this up onto the blog, but work commitments got in the way. As you can see from previous posts, i visited the Hampshire Wood Fair at the Queen Elizabeth country park a few days ago, and was pleased to meet a medieval re-enactment group called Weorod. Whilst watching them do their thing, i had the pleasure to talk to the man in charge ....

Part One.


Part Two.


Monday, 12 July 2010

Hampshire Wood Fair.

Yesterday saw me travelling about 10 miles or so down the A3 towards Petersfield and the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, where they were staging this years Hampshire Wood Fair. I like and enjoy all things countryside, so i decided to take a look and was glad i did. First of all the country park is just a great place to go to clear the cobwebs and to get a bit of fresh air but, coupled with a great deal of wood crafts and exhibits, made for a specially interesting day.

A great deal of craftsmanship and artistic effort had gone into many of the wood exhibits, from walking sticks to large garden style ornaments that take a great deal of time to finish. I spent quite a while just sitting and watching the crafts people at work doing whatever was their art with various sizes of lumps of wood, using differing tools, many with stunning results.

The fact that the weather was kind made the day out a pleasurable experience for all the family. And a walk around the park is always good. I was on the understanding that this event before now was a moveable event that travelled around Hampshire, however steps are being taken to bring back the event to the Queen Elizabeth country park again for next year, so i will keep an eye out for it again.

Anyone with an artistic view or is interested in wood carving and wood crafts would enjoy the day out here, as a wide variety of stalls and skills were on show to the public. As the day wore on and the sun got hotter, more and more people made the decision to visit with children and families, which gave the event a very pleasant feel and relaxed atmosphere. I would recommend that you visit next year.

Most of the event is taken by demonstrations of various kinds. Not just of the wood crafts, but of the working environment too, such as this Shire horse, being used to drag large logs around the woodland. This type of woodland work with horses is rapidly becoming more popular, as horses do not damage the environment as much as large tractors and similar vehicles.

All in all, a very enjoyable day out.

Paul Martin

Meeting The Hampshire Medievals.

Whilst taking a look around the Hampshire Wood Fair in the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, i had the pleasure to meet Wayne Letting, who, when not doing his normal day to day job, is known as whitgar, a 6th or 7th century clan leader of the Weorod.

This is Wayne in his full historically correct clothing of the period .... And the gold clothing catches were, i'm told, made from real gold.

Also at the Hampshire Wood Fair were the rest of the Medieval family, who when not trying to knock each others heads off in a re-enactment show of a battle scene, were telling the visitors about medieval life in the 6th and 7th centuries, with displays of cookery, woodcraft and cloth making, as well as the fighting weapons which look scarily real, even close up.

Here is the cooking area ... and yes, they did eat the food, made to medieval recipes.

Whilst the men traded goods, hunted, and took care of their weapons, the women of medieval times were getting on with the work of making clothes, weaving and more ...


Then of course, there were the really scary blokes who took great delight in showing the crowds just how tough it was to be a medieval warrior. Times were tough and sometimes brutal, and the weapons used in the re-enactment were real enough and just as dangerous. But these guys have obviously put in a great deal of practice and gave a good show in fighting skills to those who watched, and no one came to any harm ... i promise.


The guys here took a great deal of time and effort to get the image just right, and looking at them takes you right back to medieval times if you let your imagination take over. The level of detail was outstanding and the fighting scenes were quite rough and realistic.


If you ever get the chance to see these guys do what they do, i would heartily recommend it to you. A lot can be learned from watching them go about their early medieval lives, and they do their very best to do it as accurately as possible. You can visit their website HERE.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Hampshire Lavender Fields Open Day.

I did intend to go a little further today but was stopped in my tracks just a mile and a half North from the Pottery in Selborne, Hampshire, where i last posted from. The big sign saying open day was enough for me so i turned in to see what was happening.

It turned out to be an open day for the Lavender fields, where the farmer, Tim Butler, grows many varieties of lavender and manufactures the lavender oil, from which he and others make a bewildering number of products from lavender and honey ice cream, to soap, oils, and much more.

Having given me a quick tour of the fields and farm, Tim was kind enough to give me a quick interview about what it is he does, and how he does it. This is what he had to say ....


So, if you are ever passing the road between Selborne and Alton, do drop in and visit the lavender shop, and tell them that i sent you. Alternatively, you can visit them online HERE.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

A Visit To Selborne Pottery.

Still staying close to my home patch as it were, i made the trip to the village of Selborne in Hampshire as i knew there was a pottery gallery and studio there that you can go and visit. The studios sit in a delightful little courtyard just off the main road in Selborne and is a great place to visit and even sit and watch the potters at work if you ask nicely enough. So i asked the potter a few questions .....


Watching Robert work was to watch a genuine artist at work with the ease of a man who has practically grown up with using clay, and nurturing his natural ability to make anything that comes to mind that can be made on a potters wheel. I really didn't know just how quickly a potter can throw a simple small pot. Even a larger one took Robert only three and a half minutes to make, as you can see from the video post, which is coming shortly.

So, if you have the time, i can recommend that you go and visit the Selborne Pottery if you get the chance, and have a chat with Robert. Oh, and don't forget to visit the gallery where you can browse and buy any of the locally crafted pots. Tell him i sent you.

Or, you could visit him online HERE.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Talking Bullocks In The Country.

One of the main reasons why farmers and breeders attend any agricultural show like the Alton Show, is to show off their best animals to be judged. A great deal of effort goes into preparing the beasts for show, especially the larger animals such as the highland cattle. So i spoke to one of the farmers at the show to see just what goes into showing cattle at the Alton Show.



Cider Tasting At The Alton Show.

It was inevitable that at some point whilst at the Alton Show that we would touch upon the subject of alcohol. Good old west country cider to be exact. So i spoke to a guy called Joe Jnr, who makes cider in Somerset, one of his creations being Sewer Cider ...... This is what he said.


Monday, 5 July 2010

Pictures From The Alton Show. 2010.

I thought that i had better get around to posting just a few of the photo's i took whilst wandering around the Alton Show at Froyle Park on Sunday 4 July 2010. The weather was perfect for an agricultural show, the sun was shining with a breeze that kept most people cool, making it a pleasurable day out for all of the people that visited.

Most of the country folk of course were there to show off their best animals to be judged in various categories of competition between the many breeds of farm animals that were present at the Alton Show. It is of course, the main reason why these shows exist as many were started by local farmers as a yearly get together to find the best breeding animals for next years season, and is still a reason why most farmers attend such shows today.

There are many more things to see and do at the Alton Show, with exhibitions from a range of countryside business from local food and drink, to old steam engines and vintage vehicles. Local crafts and countryside pursuits can also be seen at the show with an opportunity to test your ability.

So, all in all, it was a pleasure to visit the show and have a look around the local artisans and producers that keep our countryside the way we all know and love. I for one will certainly be back next year for more of the same, and suggest that you do too.