|Part of our little flotilla on the Wharfe|
So much happened over the Queen's Diamond Jubilee weekend, a thousand boats nosing their way down the River Thames, a pop concert outside Buckingham Palace, thousands of beacons being lit, street parties throughout the country and festive fireworks illuminating the night skies, that it's difficult to know what to write about, what to put in, what to leave out. I'm told Queenie wifie felt quite humbled by it all. Well, I'm not a Royalist, neither am I anti-royalty, but standing in a crowd waving a Union Jack would come an awful long way down my list of things to do. So what did we all get up to back in our sheltered neck of the woods? We'd great fun. That's what!
|The Women's Institute crew - and shark!|
|The Kings and Queens had a slight problem|
Surprise winners of the first heat, by a distance, were the good ladies of the local Women's Institute, one of whom happened to be my wonderful partner. Indeed, they proved invincible throughout the tournament, easily winning their semi-final before storming away from the disgruntled pantomime crew of the 'Panto Liner' in the Final to raise their oars in a victory salute as they crossed the line to tumultuous applause. It could be something to do with male chauvinism that stories afterwards circulated in local hostelries that only three rafts took part and two of them sank, thus handing victory to the Women's Institute on a plate. I'll admit there weren't quite as many vessels as on the Thames - but that was a bit unkind!
|On the long climb towards Middleton Moor|
|LV60 winner finishing with a smile|
|Finishing my first race as an MV80|
|..and winning a prize - a Fastrax shirt|
|Line-up for judging the fancy hats|
The music was rather loud but of an appropriate choice for the occasion. Among many of my favourites was 'Jupiter' from the Planet suite, the words to which (I vow to thee my country) was our old school song. We dutifully stood to attention whilst the National Anthem was played. Amazingly, none of the children knew the words, claiming it was not played in their schools any more. Perhaps there's such an eclectic mix of pupils that, rather than take time playing all their national anthems, they play none at all. Or is it just another nonsensical bit of political correctness?
|Going - the whole hog|
All Trail racing pictures courtesy of Dave Woodhead (woodentops.org.uk)