The day that Windsor came to Dunecht



The blogosphere, and indeed the mainstream media, are all over the royal wedding this weekend and why on earth not. I mean, this is the media event of the decade and, if the pundits are to be taken seriously, then around 86% of the British public are lauding it for the royals. The other 14% are no doubt secretly sneaking a wee look at the endless re-runs and I know I was one of them. That is, until Janice made an appearance at which point we watched until the very end taking only a few well spent hours out to attend the BA Vintage Country Fair over at Dunecht. Then it was back for chips and a few feet up on the settee for more of the royal highlights.
That’s the beauty of this digital age really. You can miss the footie or indeed the wedding of the year then do a seamless catch-up later in the day. We saw that royal kiss, or was it a pair of kisses, endless times and spotted Charles leading his future daughter-in-law down the aisle on at least a hundred news clips. Then there was Meghan’s mum. Alone and, until again Charles came to the rescue, obviously moved she cast a spell as a loving parent who had lost a daughter but gained a princess; or at the very least a duchess. You couldn’t really make it up.
The time spent over at Dunecht was well spent of course. Not for us a goggle-box afternoon behind closed doors. The attraction was the 15th annual BA Country Fair and although we have attended a few times over the years we had no qualms about attending again even on such a royal occasion.
A charity fundraiser complete with over 500 exhibitors and performers, the BA event is one of those ‘can’t miss’ weekends. Held over two days, attendees included BA Truckfest, The Deeside Steam and Tractor Club plus of course the various supporters from the Ferguson, Nuffield Leyland and County Tractor Clubs. Trade exhibits included such gems as Dam Fine Cheese and Popseys Pancake Van while throughout the weekend there were demonstrations of tractor pulling, terrier racing and of course the Strathorn Clydesdales Drill Team.
Janice and I had first seen the Strathorn Clydesdale team over at Echt in 2017. Imagine, if you will, a squad of steady Clydesdales performing manoeuvres usually carried out by stunt motorcyclists or indeed the Red Arrows. No, I don’t mean to suggest that horses can fly or that said Clydesdales were jumping through fiery hoops, but – and I mean this is the nicest possible way – they performed manoeuvres more usually seen in virtual-reality heaven. Perhaps not on a par with the Arrows signature Concorde Bend or Spitfire Roll, the Strathorn team trotted faultlessly through a 20 minute or so routine of synchronised, and sometimes jaw-dropping equestrian gymnastics.

And what has this gotten to do with Harry and Meghan’s special day? Well only that the Strathorn performers had gone to the bother of dressing up in wedding whites and black-tie. Pretty amazing if you ask me. Oh, and one of the horses goes by the name of Windsor. How cool is that.

The BA Vintage Country Fair website is at: BA Country Events

Duncan Harley is the author of The A-Z of CuriousAberdeenshire

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