May Fair 2011 – how was it for you? The music, the conversations and the friendships made it fantastic for me. The police sirens late in the day did put a bit of a downer on the experience. A brief trawl through twitter – that ever reliable and factual source of information – shows that *most* folk at May Fair 2011 came away with sunburns and smiles.
Everyone will have their own unique May Fair stories and experiences. You can’t capture the essence of May Fair in a throwaway blog post – you probably wouldn’t want to either.
May Fair for me was very special. My experiences of the afternoon are unique to me, and this blog post is primarily for my purposes, to capture, document and remember what was something of a rather special afternoon.
Along with @AnnaJCowen and the pneumatic recovering house guest, I came close to being up the wotsit creek without a paddle. We were keen to show the pneumatic recovering house guest the delights of the Rowhedge Ferry. Time and tide wait for no May Fair man. Swimming to the KGV almost became a possibility.
Midday tea in the Rowhedge Heritage Hut was when we first heard the chords strike up across the Colne. Time to board the Ferry back to base, time to join the queue of twenty, thirty, forty ferry passengers, all with the same idea.
The good skipper had the foresight to make short shuttle runs across to Ferry Marsh. But with the water fast disappearing, the roundabout route back to the Quay was required.
We did the mental maths and worked out that we may just make the final sail before the ferry became stranded. The boat had become something of a booze cruise, with Rowhedge folk crossing the Colne with boxes of beer.
Anything to declare, Sir? We really should tax that other lot once they land in Wivenhoe.
Back on dry land and we snaked our way around the station, over the foot bridge and towards the KGV and beyond. By 1pm and it was clear that May Fair 2011 was simply MASSIVE.
We missed local lad Lou Terry up on the Sunrise Stage, such was the effort involved to walk from one end of the KGV to the other. An age demographic was clearly in place – fresh-faced yoof were down towards the rear of the field, with the more mature crowd camping out at the top. I have no shame in stating that I was two thirds up, with a preference to continue the ageing process.
Conversations followed – an ever present smiling Mr Mayor and the Lady Mayor, as well as two separate catch ups with middle aged men whom I usually associate with my semi-naked experiences every morning in a steam room out towards the Hythe.
Hot pants appeared to be the May Fair fashion accessory for this spring. I don’t think I’ve got the legs to carry it off, but then again I would also struggle with the balding Goth look, another fashion favourite for 2011.
Transition Town Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe in Bloom, Moving Image – all the great and good of local groups were out in force. The pneumatic recovering house guest came close to a cure in the Healing Field. I pitched in with a rather random and unexpected offer for work with a local organisation.
I’m not sure what happened to the Main Stage running order, but we took up a strategic position towards the right, just in time to catch the ace @AdyJohnsonUK. A shortened set from Colchester’s finest, but one that seemed perfect for the occasion.
Pink Flamingo peaked as MY May Fair moment. Only a couple of months earlier I had been privileged to catch Ady singing a short secret set @15QueenStreet. Seeing the songs from the Worry Doll album being transferred to the Wivenhoe May Fair, and still working with all the intimacy from earlier, had to be a highlight.
The pneumatic recovering house guest had to head back to the big city, and so our May Fair was cut short around 5pm. We walked back down towards the train station, seeing Wivenhoe Wood become a temporary toilet for the afternoon. Not great but hey – at least the greenery got a well needed watering.
The first police sirens started soon after, and then whilst back at base catching the close of play at the cricket, the helicopter action started. I didn’t personally witness anything, and so I’m not going to let it get in the way of MY May Fair 2011.
Seeing this rather fine chap below wave us a Wivenhoe farewell is the memory that I would like to leave with.
*Heads up Mr Mule
Full flickr set over here.