Scything Festival 2018 Part3 : Sunday

The weather was again glorious and many mowers both local and from further afield had turned up to take part in the many serious and not so serious competitions of the day. The most popular was, as ever, the 5m x 5m sprint mow. There was the 10m x 10m blue ribbon event (a term derived from The Blue Riband prize awarded for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by passenger liners – who says you never learn anything new and irrelevant here), 1/8th and 1/4 acre endurance event, and various team events including a three person competition where each team had to contain mowers of difference experience and a mow, collect and build a hay rick.

Here are some images of the day and apologies to anybody who didn’t get into a picture

Although we had built a chair for the winners of each category to sit in and be awarded their prizes, which were lovely leather ‘medals’ made by Simon’s father Graham, it was a general consensus that more silliness was required. So, on Saturday morning, Simon decided a ‘crown’ of sorts was needed and so made a sort of bucket from the bark stripped from a recently felled ash tree whose diameter was about that of human head. However, once seen, the design, rather like Tolkein’s tale of The Lord of the Rings, grew in its telling. First the sides were sewn up using elm bark laces made from the left overs from the previous day. Then some gypsy flower adornments, kindly donated by Simon Lamb, were sewn on to each side and finally some cordage added as either decoration or to be tied under the chin – nobody can really remember why…

…some wore it with elegance and panache and some looked positively debauched in it, appearing as an all-conquering, despotic monarch. Simon won the 10m x 10m (these two sentences are completely unconnected – ed.)


The 5m x 5m was the most popular race with some of Saturday’s trainees entering, although you can’t enter it if you have won at this distance before so Simon, Kevin and Shane (veterans’ cup) were excluded. The times and quality score are listed below and resulted in Nigel winning the open class with Terry and Joe second and third respectively. Jayne won the Wimpole cup and ladies’ event with Helen and Viv second and third. Rami won the juniors’ and Olga dn Simon Lamb shared the quality award. Incidentally, our glorious leader Jim ‘the McReaper’ McVittie, was doing many other things with both mowers and the greenwood worker so could not enter but a few weeks later secured the Northern Veterans’ mowing championship. The results for the 5m x 5m were as follows:

Name                 Time (mins.secs)     Quality

Alastair                          4.34.                   4.5

Valerie                          10.00                    7.5

Rami                              13.28                   4.5

Simon F                           4.45                   5.0

Darren                             6.51                   5.0

Simon L                          11.12                  9.0

Dave J                               8.43                   3.0

Jayne                                4.47                   6.5

Nigel                                 1.38                   5.5

Joe                                     2.12                   5.0

Terry                                 2.15                   5.0

Anne H                              8.13                   3.5

Mick                                   2.59                   6.5

Neil                                     6.34                   3.5

Dave H                               7.12                   6.5

Helen                                  7.46                   6.0

Viv                                       8.22                   4.0

John                                     5.40                   7.0

Adam                                   3.40                   5.0

Richard                                3.05                   5.0

Colin                                     4.04                    8.0

Matthew                              2:59                    7.0

Olga                                      11:08                  9.0

Sunday evening was upon us and as the sun set people said their goodbyes and left. It had been a wonderful weekend enjoyed by all and it wouldn’t happen without all the time, effort and organisation that Simon Damant and his team of Estate volunteers put in: THANK YOU!


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