Community News: Clive Porter visits Ashwell @ Home 2023…
Under brilliant blue skies and soaring temperatures the 38th ‘Ashwell at Home’ reenactment set a theme titled ‘A Day in the Country’. Emphasising the many features of a traditional English village, the popular annual family event drew in large crowds from across the region to be entertained by music, workshop demonstrations, and arts and crafts. There was entertainment in the street, performed outside the Museum by a traditional Tudor dance team, and the Letchworth Morris Dancers presented their talents at various venues around the village, creating a particularly lively display for customers enjoying their lunch at the Bushel and Strike.
There were 17 wonderful open gardens to visit, ranging from small courtyard displays to more flamboyant examples of manicured lawns and flower beds. There were many other additional features, including a dog show, a weaving demonstration, art and craft displays, and singing in the church. A new innovation this year was a hunt the scarecrow competition.
Visitors were shown how to make butter and the arts of spinning and weaving.
When Susan Birch moved to Ashwell from Derbyshire she brought with her the ancient art of Well Making, which is native to that area of the U.K. Each year Susan produces a new theme for her vibrant displays and this time she proudly presented her 8th creation which commemorated the recent Coronation of King Charles 111.
A representative for the committee told the Listing, “The sun shone brilliantly and visitors of all ages (some with their canine friends) could be seen enjoying themselves at every venue in the village, or happily munching the delicious home-made refreshments on offer whilst looking eagerly at their programme to plan their next stop – supported by regular announcements from the Town Crier!”
Local photographer and campaigner, Clive Porter, dropped in on the event and told the Listing that “the day was a great experience with everyone really happy and carefree.”
He recounted how taken aback he was by the wonderful atmosphere, with both young and old contributing to making the day a really special event.
“I was extremely impressed”, he continued, “by how friendly all the visitors appeared to be. Numerous individuals, recognising me from frequent visits to previous shows, came over to enquire after my health. All very pleasant and cordial”.
Images and text by Clive Porter Photography