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Weyfest, calves and WWII

by Rod Kebble

The three-day, annual Weyfest took place at the Rural Life Centre last weekend, with a line-up including UB40, The Stranglers and Echo and the Bunnymen. Visitors parked their cars and pitched their tents in fields belonging to Pierrepont Farm.

Pierrepont calves Echo (with a white blaze on her forehead), Eagle and Igloo attract visitors to their pen. The calves were all born in the first two weeks of June and Echo has already been picked to see the inside of the show ring, along with Pierrepont's other entrants, at next summer's agricultural shows.

Pierrepont calves Echo (with the white blaze), Eagle and Igloo attract visitors to their pen. The calves were all born in the first two weeks of June and Echo has already been picked to see the inside of the show ring, along with Pierrepont’s other entrants, at next summer’s agricultural shows.

It had been intended to run tractor rides from the festival to the farm on the Saturday and Sunday but the Saturday rides had to be cancelled due to farmer Mike Clear falling behind with getting in his hay, because of a tractor breakdown. Eventually the far-from-obvious fault was traced to a battery earth strap in which resistance had built up and Mike was able to catch up on the days he had missed.

On the Sunday, instead of tractors bringing visitors to the farm, the farm went to the festival — in the shape of three calves, including an Echo of our own. They were placed in a pen under a magnificent oak tree, near the forge and the railway station.

The Countryside Restoration Trust "stand", complete with cattle pen. In the background are a couple of Land Girls and a tent belonging to the internet radio station www.1940sukradio.co.uk, that broadcasts music programmes from the, well, 1940s.

The Countryside Restoration Trust “stand”. Note the Land Girls in the background and the standard lamp (complete with fringed shade) to the left of the tent. It belongs to the internet radio station www.1940sukradio.co.uk, that broadcasts music programmes from the, well, 1940s.

Quite what the calves made of it we will never know but it was definitely not like life on the farm. As well as two stages belting out pop music, the RLC’s steam engine chipped in with whistles and panting noises while a 1940s’ radio station serenaded them with Glen Miller.

The people looked different, too. While the music fans wore tattoos and T-shirts with their piercings and unusually-coloured hair, there were also people dressed in World War 2 uniforms and a contingent of mummers in traditional black face (using less-traditional mobile phones).

How are we going to keep them down on the farm, now that they’ve seen the RLC?

Re-enactors dressed as Land Girls and GIs pose with a Willys jeep — complete with two machine guns — for a local press photographer. The Womens Land Army kept the CRT volunteers supplied with tea throughout the day (in enamel cups, of course).

Re-enactors dressed as Land Girls and GIs pose with a Willys jeep for a local press photographer. The Womens Land Army kept the CRT volunteers supplied with tea throughout the day (in enamel mugs, of course).