Room for a Big One?
Well here is a problem not many of us will ever face… where to park a 20 foot wooden horse, tractor and it’s riders in a small village before closing time at the local pub? However this was just the quandary faced by Michael Johns last night as we rode into Berrynarbor in search of liquid refreshment at The Globe.
What the riders witnessed was a masterclass in driving by Michael, now in his 31st year of supporting Uncle Tom. Aided and abetted by Smudge (Darren Smallridge) he was somehow able to lay the Old Gray Mare down in a packed village car park, narrowly avoiding one or two vehicles including a rather nice Mercedes which looked odds on to be written off. Good work Michael!
Earlier in the evening the boys had received the honour of finishing 2nd in Ilfracombe’s annual carnival, a tremendous achievement given that we hadn’t even entered our float for judging. Style and charisma… the old girl still has it in bucket loads.
The good people of Ilfracombe were also treated to the unveiling of a rare update to the musical set list. Smudge had been busy since Combe Martin working on a couple of additions including Worzels version of ‘Common People’… in my opinion a much better version than the rubbish knocked out by Jarvis Cocker in the 90s. Not too sure about the “tourist” lyric though!
Thanks must go to Reg for his hospitality at Ilfracombe Rugby Club, he laid on a very warm welcome for all riders and an interesting take on larger drinkers. Thanks also to Pat for organising some much needed nourishment to get the riders and ground crew to the end of the carnival with a smile on their face and a burger in their belly!
Unfortunately Gerald wasn’t able to front the horse last night due to illness, Norman had the unenviable task of trying to fill his boots and guide the old girl through the streets of Ilfracombe. He did a sterling job, but will no doubt be relieved to see Gerald back to full fitness for Barnstaple on the 22nd September where we hope to see you all again. Get well soon Gerald.
The riders for last night were: Norman Sanders, Darren Smallridge, Mark Sanders, John Webber, Kevin Irwin, Christian and Graham Rice. The ground crew consisted of Ena Walters, Pat Rice, Sue Muir, Sarah Rumson, Josh Rumson, Matthew Rumson, Millie Jeffrey, Holly Lancey, Lynne Parkinson, Will Smallridge, Erin Smallridge and the latest addition to the Smallridge family, Shay, our youngest ever participant at just 1 year old!