I spent most of the day today at Scorton Country Fayre with The Bay broadcasting live. Constantly ducking the temptation to call it "Scrot#m C#nty" Fayre I kept remembering that classic scene from Alan Partridge where he lectures them about BBC comissioning policy. Unlike Alan though, I had a really good time.
Of all the different things which the people of Scorton chose to exhibit there was one thing which really caught my eye, Dog Carting. I'd never seen anything like this in my life. Totally bizzare. I took a few pictures and some video but until I can upload them I'll just have to describe it. Imagine a horse and cart. Now miniturise the cart and put a dog there to pull it instead. Put some bells and fruit and stuff in the cart and you've got it. Madness.
It was such an oddly surreal sight.
I grabbed one of the people and did an interview with him on air. He told me that it's a practice which has a long history in Britain but it was made illegal on the roads some time ago so now it's just a hobby here. However, over in Sweeden dog carting is still used by the dairy farms where they're used to carry milk urns. Apparently the dogs collect the urns off the farmer when they're full, pull them down to the dairy. Wait for the empty milk urns and then carry them back to the farmer. All done without human supervision. Brilliant!
Other than that there were various other things to watch such as the motorcycle stunt group, The Purple Helmets and the various old fashioned classic tractors that were there. The steam powered tractors there were amazing.
At one point I got into a conversation with a farmer about some of the 1940's range. It went like this:
"Ahh, now, look at that piece of kit. Nice that isn't it?"
"Yeah," I replied.
"You could still work in that couldn't you?"
I relaised he thought I was a farmer person as well. I was wearing my wellies and a green coat. It was a reasonable assumption I suppose. Apart from my silky smooth, never done and honest days work in his life, hands. So I drew in a deep breath and went "aye".
"See the problem with that Honda 4000 over there see, it's a good worker, until you have any problems with it. Then you're up the creek. You can't just fix it can you?"
"No," I said. Quite excited by my new role as a farmer I decided to try a bit more bluff: "this one here, they don't make 'em like that anymore do they? It's like cars. It's all about money".
"You're right there lad. Look at that. You could put a new engine in there and it wouldn't give you no trouble. None at all".
I marvelled at how quickly I'd become bored of my new life as a farmer, made my excuses and left.
"See you lad," he said as I waved goodbye.