Recently, Sue and I, along with one of our grown-up sons and his partner, experienced a microcosm of rural Devon life in one day.
We took a picnic to the park in the nearby small town of Bovey Tracey where they were holding a small fete as part of their carnival week. We watched a demonstration of falconry and then ate our picnic in the shade of a tree before touring the craft stalls. These seemed a little too commercial to me, especially compared to the village shows I remember when I was growing up. In those days, the refreshments were run by the Women’s Institute or a local charity or community group, and the excellent cakes and scones were sold for a nominal sum. No one was trying to build a cupcake business; it was all about community. I’m all for entrepreneurship, but it has its place.
On the way home, we stopped in at the local church in Hennock where they were showing some historical documents and photos. After that, we strolled into the village hall where local volunteers were selling drinks and cakes as well as potted plants, all in return for small donations. Here was the experience I’d missed at the earlier event: a few simple refreshments shared with neighbours.
Below, I’ve included pictures of the church and more. You’ll also be able to see our spiky visitor.
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