After the FED Annual and one day at home Lesley and I headed down to Watchet. Lesley via Cheryl’s leaving at silly o’clock in the morning and me somewhat later using a cross country route where even I was wondering why, but it was fun. The sat nav indicated it would take me nearly 10 hrs and I did it in 6 hrs, well, when you are on B and C Roads for most of the trip, plus a lot of single track roads and very little traffic, it is surprising how quickly you can get along.
I dropped into Thatchers Cider Shop http://www.thatcherscider.co.uk/visit-us/thatchers-cider-shop/ with my 5 litre container and got it filled up with their medium cider straight from the barrel. At around £8 pretty good value for their traditional cider, cider like it should be.
I arrived at Watchet and pitched our tent somewhat further down the field than normal and it was only a Wednesday. It was somewhat different in 2009, when I was the only one there on the Wednesday.
Watchet was visited a few times as normal and this year we tried out the Pebbles Tavern http://www.pebblestavern.co.uk/ with the Levenes and Tennants. It’s a great little pub with good beer and cider and they have a wide menu. When you read it, it simply lists various places you can get your food from in Watchet and then you simply eat it in the pub and with a fish and chip shop next door what could be better, except Dave had the last pot of mushy peas. Beats me how a fish and chip shop runs out of mushy peas 30 min after it opens.
My only issue was, I was popping over to the Bell Inn inbetween trying to organise booking numbers for the London Inn the next night, and needless to say I was drinking and eating in two pubs at the same time.
Friday lunch we met up with Naomi, James and Evelyn at Torre Cider farm https://www.torrecider.co.uk , the ploughman’s is really good; Naomi and I gave our seal of approval. There is plenty for the children to do and see, good play area and with chickens, ducks, pigs and piglets to visit you can easily spend up to a couple of hours there, plus it is an easy walk from Watchet along the mineral line http://www.westsomersetmineralrailway.org.uk
Friday afternoon / evening on the Esplanade there was an exhibition on the history and closure of the Mill, http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/14163387.End_of_an_era_as_Watchet_Paper_Mill_closes/ we even sampled a free pint in the Esplanade Club. http://www.wsfp.co.uk/article.cfm?id=108329&headline=Watchet%20Paper%20Mill%20exhibition§ionIs=news&searchyear=2017
The glowing tail of a female common glowworm
After another good meal in the London, on our return journey to the site I forged ahead (as the others kept using their torches) so it was dark enough to spot the glow worms. I found loads, best year for a long time, and all was going well until a rabbit hole or something of the like popped up which, with no torch switched on, I didn’t see, stuck my foot in it and wrung my ankle quite badly.
With the flash on my camera on, a clearer picture of the common glowworm
I managed to hobble back to site and then hobble to the tent. The next morning it was nearly impossible to walk on it, it had swollen and was clicking. Not looking good. To top that the day before poor old Lesley was sick as a pig, so much so even Keith and Julia were worried. It was a case of pack up and head home on the Saturday while we could make it.
Lesley left first and planned to pop in and see Ryan; I was going to stop and leave after the raffle, but, with no improvement, just after lunch I said my goodbyes and headed for home.
We hope the rest of the rally went well and well done to Dave for braving the shave.