30Jul: West Country Scythe Festival 

Simon Fairlie tony at tlio.org.uk
Tue Jul 25 13:46:35 BST 2006


The West Country Scythe Festival 
PRESS RELEASE    July 21     No Embargo

The  West Country Scythe Festival,  which made  a brilliant debut last year
in Dorset, is to be held again next Sunday  (30 July ) near South Petherton
in Somerset 

The high point of the festival is the UK Mowing championship, where
scythesmen compete to mow a 25 sq metre square of grass in record time, 
with not a blade left uncut!

Last years winner, Steve Friend from Lopen, Somerset, will be fending off
competition from a number of contenders, including last years runner up,
Stewart Aylett from Crewkerne, and mowers coming from as far afield as
Norfolk and Herefordshire. 

One of the organizer, Simon Fairlie, says :
“Scything competitions used to be a common feature of rural shows in
England up to the 1950s, and they are still widely held on the continent.
Now that scythes are becoming popular again — for example with people
wishing to create a small wildflower meadow at the back of their garden —
the competition is a good way of showing people what can be achieved with
this simple but effective tool.”

The organizers are keen to hear from accomplished mowers who wish to enter
the competition; and from older people who used to work with scythes and
who have skills to hand on, or stories to tell.
The festival will also welcome, once again, Canadian scything wizard, Peter
Vido who will be demonstrating his formidable skills, and giving
instruction in scythe use and maintenance. 

The festival will also feature a scythe versus strimmer contest, a
demonstration of lawn mowing with a scythe, rake and hayfork making and 
blacksmithing, and an exhibition about haymaking and mowing.
There will be swing-boats and other kids events,  local organic food and
drink, and music from Kangaroo Moon, and others.

The event runs from 10 am till 10 pm, and entry is £4  for adults, £1 for
children. It takes place at the Trading Post at Lopen Head on the former
A303  between Ilminster and South Petherton in Somerset.

For more information contact Simon Fairlie 01460 249204; 
<mailto:chapter7 at tlio.org.uk>chapter7 at tlio.org.uk or Stuart on  07792 924847
Pphotographs of the 2005 festival held near Charmouth in Dorset are
available in print quality resolution.

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