Sunday, 10 June 2012

Thick black smoke

On leaving the Pheasant last night, a huge pall of black smoke was rising from somewhere down town. The last time I saw a similar sight was a few years ago when the fire took place on the boatyard. Fearing something serious, Janet drove us down into town when it became obvious that the problem was not in the town itself but over towards the Stone Business Park.

All under control!
Turning left at Walton island, our first thoughts were that the new Aldi store was going up in flames but as we approached it was obvious that the fire was behind Aldi probably on the allotments. We retraced our steps and went down Tilling Drive and found three fire appliances near the old disused Bibby's Social Club. It turned out that the fire was in a storage shed at the rear of the club and the Fire Service had the blaze well under control.

I don't know the extent of the damage or loss but, thank goodness, it was not as serious as we first thought. Of course, the question that I'm sure will now be investigated is how did the fire start? Or, more accurately, who started it? Fires like this are rarely caused by self-combustion!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Two days at the County Show

You can bet your shirt on it, can't you? It will rain for two days whenever the County Show takes place! Pity I didn't put a bet on it earlier in the year! Yes, it rained - and it rained!

Thankfully, we had booked the stall for the Stone Food and Drink Festival  inside the Food Hall so we were sheltered from the elements. And the fact that it was so miserable outside ensured that people came indoors in their thousands. We were there to promote the Food and Drink Festival and handed out over two thousand leaflets. We received a great response and met dozens of people who enthused about our Festival. Scores of them also entered a free prize draw we were running to win a pair of weekend passes. A very worthwhile event even if I do need a week to recover!

Jack Taylor, our young chef prodigy, came down both days to help us and, lo and behold, on Thursday had somehow managed to get himself invited to go up on stage and do a joint cookery demonstration with Sarah Gayton from Taste of the Moorlands! What a double act! I think we've found our 'star' turn for the Festival in October!

And to finish the show on a high note - what better than Lymestone Brewery winning third place in the Best Stall in Show category? Well done, Viv!

What a Great Shame

I am only too well aware that, no matter how much planning goes into organising an event, there is one thing you cannot control and that is the weather! And last weekend proved the point across the country for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. So many events were either washed off or severely affected by the rain.

Janet and I popped into town last weekend to support the street party but, sadly, very few others had done the same! And you can't blame them because it was chucking it down. Members of the public were outnumbered by some very cold and wet stewards - such a shame. But at least the Town Mayor, Cllr. Mike Shaw, managed to find some shelter and put on a brave face!

And then the following night we went down to Crown Meadow to watch the beacon being lit and to see the fireworks. Thankfully it was a dry night but very few people had turned out - probably three to four hundred at most. I have to say this climax to the weekend had been very poorly advertised. Even the single banner on Morrison's railings advertised the event as taking place in Westbridge Park! Which was a great pity because it was another great firework display - fired, of course, by Stone's very own team of fireworks supremos, Charles Purton et al! Good one, Charlie.

Let's play catch-up!

Apologies! It's over a week since I last posted and I have already had an enquiry from someone who was worried I may be ill! Rest assured I am alive and well - I've just been such a busy boy that I haven't had a moment to keep this blog up to date. So here goes - a quick catch up with a couple of postings.