Sunday, 22 September 2013

Newbury Show - A Great Place for Historical Research and Inspiration for Writers!

I've just spent another great day at the Newbury show or more correctly, The Royal County of Berkshire Show. We've been going for twenty years, so it must be good!
There are always fascinating things to see such as these Heavy Horse Trade Turnouts. Just imagine moving house and loading everything into this removal van. What could go wrong on the journey from Bournemouth to Winchester, for example? Or perhaps the story could be told from the horses' point of view?

Drays like this would deliver beer from the local town brewery to all the pubs in the area. Imagine the draymen unloading the wooden barrels and rolling them down through the trapdoor in the pavement to the cellar beneath the pub.

This cart had an agricultural use as well as a trade use. The axels are wide enough to be drawn across a field in the furrows where farm workers would load it up to the name plate behind the driver's shoulders with cabbages and other brassicas. Then it would be driven straight to Covent Garden for the vegetables to be sold and the cart would make a return journey with supplies from London for the village.
Who could be waiting for a special package to be brought home?

This year there was also a World War II Village to give a glimpse of life on the Home Front.

This van really reminds me of Dad's Army!
Both these vehicles must have some stories to tell.

Here is a reconstruction of a Dig for Victory garden. There were Land Girls on hand to explain  how important food production was when Britain had to rely on its own resources for food. There could be a story where people are competing to grow the best marrow. The winning one gets stolen, and the village have to find the culprit before it's eaten up!

The show always ends with a mass assent of hot air balloons, and here is the first one which is rather an unusual cube shape. An idea for another story perhaps? Someone's first balloon flight and the balloon gets out of control and comes down in a farmer's field or maybe a shopping centre car park!

Newbury Show is the last county show of the season, but they start again next spring. Look out for your local one and see if you can get some inspiration for your writing like me!


  1. That looks fantastic, Jean - and what inspiration! I love visiting places like this and seeing the old carriages and vehicles.

    1. Thanks, Rosemary, it's lovely to see them in action.