Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hemswell and Hemswell Cliff

Hemswell May Fair
I forgot to blog about our visit to Hemswell on Monday, for the traditional May fair.  Hemswell is one of only three villages in the country to have a permanent maypole.  I was surprised to see it was in the middle of the road at a crossroads, but this was apparently a traditional spot for a maypole after the restoration of the monarchy in the 17th century.

Different places have different traditions, and I am used to the southern tradition that the maypole should be specially erected on the commonland.  Still, the maypole in Hemswell was dressed with coloured ribbons and the children about to dance around it were dressed as Victorian children, which in keeping with the 19th century date for the maypole in the village.

Hemswell is a domesday town, and the population hardly seems to have changed.  At just over 300 people, I think the whole village was out in force at the fair.  We bought a few books and I bought a patchwork bag made out of upholstery fabric scraps, which I like a lot.  The weather wasn't great but it was dry and there was a great atmosphere at the Fair.

There was a delay to the starting of the maypole dancing as there were more children than ribbons, a problem which we left the village to resolve as we drove to Hemswell Cliff.  Once an RAF camp and decommissioned in 1967, it has become a trading centre with a lot of antiques shops of the type very common in Lincolnshire, where different dealers all have a room or cabinet to sell from the shop.

Having driven through Hemswell Village and around a lot of unmarked roads in our search for Hemswell antique centres, I can tell you that the postcode is  DN21 5TJ.

We looked around the Canberra antiques centre, and Thomas bought a knife to add to his sword and knife collection.  He also found a gun he'd rather like if anyone has an odd £700 to spare.  He enjoyed posing with it anyway....

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