Bath & West Show (pt 2)

Well, I've just got back after five days at the Bath & West Show at Shepton Mallet (UK) and it was full of adventure! Find out more after the jump...

The best part of the show for me was getting the trees setup for the dismantling demonstration that I was doing - having felled the trees in the woodland area, we then had to get them to the arena where we were demonstrating. Unfortunately for me, the fork lift that had been promised never materialised and so plan B was put in to action... use the Land Rover. The trusty Land Rover proved to be not so trusty after all and could not manage to pull the tree out.

Clearly a plan C was called for, and off I went in search of a heavy horse - enter stage right "Middleton Major", a shire horse who stands 18 hands high and his handler Charles. Now I had never seen a heavy at [real] work, as opposed to dragging bits of wood around at a show - and what an amazing privilege it was to see "Major" doing his stuff.

To be truthful, even "Major" couldn't shift the tree and Charles suggested that we take a couple of the branches off from the lower part of the stem. I must admit, I was slightly reluctant to use the saw as the tree was chained to the log arch that "Major" was harnessed in to; I was using a chainsaw within touching distance of a heavy horse (if I had put my hand out I would have been touching his tail). I needn't have worried.

With the branches off, "Major" pulled the tree (and Charles) straight out of the wood and in to the arena.

The heavy horse had succeeded where the fork lift and Land Rover had failed.


Unfortunately for those staying at the showground, Thursday night the heavens opened and torrential rain saw flooding around Somerset and that included the showground - I've put a little bit of video footage up for you to watch (2 minutes)...

Apart from that, the tree dismantling demonstrations went well and the rain held off for the rest of the show - although it was touch-and-go at one point.

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