ALTHOUGH very welcome, a steady downpour put a damper on Friday’s festivities at the recent Bathurst Country Affair (BCA).
But by Saturday the sun was shining and it ended up being a fun-filled weekend, with something for everyone.
Most of the action took place at the Bathurst Agricultural Museum and Bathurst Showgrounds. It was an open day at the museum, with visitors able to see historical farm machinery in action, starting with a parade of old tractors to the village.
The recently completed forge was running, and people were able to see blacksmiths at work, including a very young apprentice in the form of Joash Lamerton.
Spread around Bathurst village were various craft, food and bric-a-brac stalls, and there was wine tasting at the village green.
Lauren Brunette repeated her fundraiser from last year – staying in a cage for 50 hours to raise money to sterilise animals and feed feral cats. She went into the cage on Friday night and came out on Sunday night.
The BCA also benefitted from and added value to several tie-in attractions, like the St John’s Church fete at Centenary Hall. Later in the afternoon the Pro-Carmine Choir performed at the church itself.
And at the Showgrounds, the Vintage Motocross had spectators lining the unique course as riders raced through a tree-lined grove. The Albany Vintage and Classic Motor Club also had some of their immaculately maintained vehicles on display, while the Port Alfred Rotary Club manned a well-supported food stall.
Back at the museum, raconteur and historical battle buff Basil Mills fired his cannon, and later in the afternoon weird and wonderful competitions followed, including the brawn competition outside the forge, which entailed tossing a 35kg anvil as far as possible, and a beard competition at Pike’s Post.
Men and women were game for the brawn competition – the ladies were allowed to swing the anvil for an underhand throw and the men threw from the shoulder. Each entrant was allowed five throws. After some stiff competition between friends, with best results hovering around the 2.5m mark, along came six foot nine inch David Hobson, who threw the anvil an entire metre further, winning the competition.
In the beard competition, judged by Debbie Gibson, there was a category for fancy dress beard – won by Patrick Rowley who sported feathers in his whiskers – but no one could come close to the beautifully groomed beard of Anthony Vieira da Cruz of Port Elizabeth, who won prizes for strongest and most majestic beard. It helped that Vieira da Cruz sells beard oil.