A Day at the Lambeth Country Show

It took til midsummer, but I finally got to my first festival of this year. Brockwell Park, in southwest London, has hosted the Lambeth Country Show for the last forty years. It’s a big ol’ party, with a large music tent, a crafts area, booths for various charities, tons of food stalls, and a farm and livestock area. People from all over the district come to have a day out in the country in the middle of London.

That's an English place--bouncy castles, food tents, church spires

That’s an English place–bouncy castles and church spires

Tasty meatballs stand

Tasty meatballs stand

Fuuuun!

Fuuuun!

The excellent Liz, who along with her flatmates is hosting me in London this summer, was working at the Bee Urban tent. Bee Urban keeps bees at a lodge in the city, and it educates people on how to plant flowers that will attract bees. I helped out at their candle-rolling station, showing five-year-olds how to press the wick into the wax and carefully roll it up and stick it with a pin to keep it all in place. The kids were all adorable, and so pleased with what they created.

Let's make candles

Let’s make candles

Various tents had falcons, geese, and owls

Various tents had falcons, geese, and owls

Naturally, when we heard there was camel racing, we had to go see that. The announcer was great, nonstop chatter about the camels and their jockeys. Her favorite camel was Bertie, the youngest of them all, with the longest legs, which shows promise for speed in the future, but for now, Bertie hardly knew what to do with them. He galloped like kids do when they’re pretending to be horses–galump, galump–not the smoother pace of the older camels. Maybe next year he’ll be a winner.

The race started when the four camels were more or less facing the same direction

The race started when the four camels were more or less facing the same direction

For once, Bertie was not last

For once, Bertie was not last

I ate a pork-and-stuffing-and-applesauce sandwich (delicious), lay on the grass in the summer sun and listened to classic reggae (blissful), and watched dozens of kids running around gleefully, their faces painted and their hands sticky with sweets (beyond adorable). It was a perfect festival day, right up until the point the skies opened up and drenched everyone in rain so torrential that the fair was closed only about twenty minutes later. Even that is kind of part of the full festival experience, though, isn’t it?

We took shelter under the sweets tent when the rain started; not a bad way to pass the time

We took shelter under the sweets tent when the rain started; not a bad way to pass the time

Luckily, we'd brought towels in case we went swimming, so we got warm during the downpour

Luckily, we’d brought towels in case we went swimming, so we got warm during the downpour

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8 thoughts on “A Day at the Lambeth Country Show

  1. What a super festival to begin your Festival Season! No herding working dogs? There’s something about the requisite downpour that makes it “for sure” English!

    Don’t forget the Book Festival in Edinburgh in August!

    In Peace,

    Irene

  2. We are anglophiles, thus loving your current output.  Are you planning to work on the London area?  What kind of a job are you seeking?  Keep up the info flow!!!  XOXOXOXO, Dana and Ted Calhoon

    • I’m looking for work in London and also a few cities on the West Coast of the States! Editorial, project management, anything in study abroad or travel. Fingers crossed!

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