Chatsworth Country Fair 2011

Earlier this year I took a booking for a mobility scooter for Chatsworth Country Fair, from a daughter for her father. “He’s going to have it, like it or not” was her comment at the time.

A very reluctant, unsure gentleman came to collect his scooter in the morning but the quote,
“I was wrong” came from a very happy, relaxed gentleman when he returned it late in the afternoon. His family were dumbstruck but delighted by his words (pictured above).

This to me not only summed up our experience at Chatsworth but also the whole of the summer wherever our service has been used. “Brilliant”, “couldn’t have done without it”, “made my day” are just a few of the oft repeated statements from the majority of our returning customers.  Also, the unintentional humour on such occasions – “It was an absolute godsend, we lost Mum” was one of the comments at Chatsworth when ‘Mum’ had disappeared, relishing her new-found independence! Old friends appeared each day – my thanks to Rosemary for the hugs (keep up the painting, Rosemary) and it was good to see Alan again on his favourite three wheeler (pictured below).

Our thanks to Chatsworth and the Country Fair Office for the opportunity to help so many disabled people to enjoy a little bit of life in comfort.

chats_2011_3   chats_2011_4

Memorable features of this family orientated Country Fair were the diversity of attractions. We had everything from fairground rides, vintage cars and commercial vehicles, country sports, army displays and even shopping malls(!) to events in the main ring. These varied from parachutists landing to demonstrations of hot air balloons being inflated and taking off; from musical horse rides featuring the Household Calvary, to numerous other displays of well-trained animals; and from pipe bands to a parade of vintage cars – which this year  (the Year of the Volunteer) featured our very own Pat in car number 7, a 1928 Humber 9/20 Tourer owned by Greg and Susan (thankyou both).

We must not forget the RAF Red Arrows aerobatics in the sky above. Their performance on the Friday afternoon was their first since the tragic accident and was understandably subdued but was much appreciated by the spectators, whose applause at the end reflected everyone’s sympathy for “Red 4” and his family and colleagues.

To me it was very much a doggie weekend, dogs of all shapes and sizes paraded in front of our stall, and my apologies to all the retriever owners who were pestered by me asking to say hello to their animals. But it did result in a contact which may lead to a replacement for my much missed Harvey who was a loyal and comforting friend for 16 years.

On another personal note I would like to think that a small embryo has been seeded emulating the tradition of giving cakes to the workers (well known to aficionados of Test Match Special). My thanks, and those of the others on the South stand, Ann and Pat, go to our customer and friend Shirley, producer
of a very tasty selection of homemade cakes – sorry to Barry and Angela on the North stand that you missed out,
but they were delicious!

For those who think that volunteering at these shows is all cakes and ale, I must mention what will go down in Fair Mobility history as “Breakdown Friday”. Whether it was the unseasonal hot weather or was due to interrupted battery charging overnight we had an unusually high number of breakdowns on Friday, especially with one particular model of scooter. Our apologies
to all our customers who were inconvenienced.

Finally I must mention the flotilla of hot air balloons which both started and ended each day, taking off in a massed display over the park and house and Fair Mobility!

For full details of the fair visit: www.chatsworthcountryfair.co.uk

John


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