A taste of country life at Lambeth Country Show

A taste of country life

Mayor of Lambeth, Councillor Clive Bennett, with Otis a turkey vulture

‘Giants’ do battle on the field

First published in What's On Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Festival-goers turned out in droves to celebrate the end of summer at the Lambeth Country Show at the weekend, despite a marked drop in the number of stalls.

The sunny weather added to the festive atmosphere of the show, now in its 38th year, with flying falcons, live music, flower shows and other countryside attractions.

The show, one of the UK’s largest free festivals, was cancelled at the start of the year because of the Olympics, but later reinstated following a wave of public outcry and protest.

Council leader Steve Reed said: “The show is a fantastic showcase for the borough and this year’s event brilliantly displayed the strong sense of community we enjoy here.

“There was plenty of sunshine and all in all it was a wonderful weekend.”

Despite enjoying the day out, festival-goers noticed there seemed to be fewer stalls than usual selling farm produce, flowers, crafts and other goods.

Giles Gibson, chairman of the Herne Hill Forum, said he was disappointed by the fall in numbers, blaming the rising cost of pitches for putting stallholders off.

Mr Gibson said: “It was a shame to see the marquees so empty and devoid of life.

“The ethos should be to put the Lambeth back into the Lambeth Country Show for next year.”

However, the scout group running a bric-a-brac stall in the charity quarter welcomed less competition, adding that the pitches in that part of Brockwell Park were free this year.

Gillian Crampton, leader of the 22nd Streatham Scout Group, said: “My view is the council was struggling because it changed the weekend. But it’s working out well for us. Normally it’s quite packed.”

A mix of musicians, including eclectic British band Dreadzone and Hollie Cook, daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook, rocked the main stage on both days.

Meanwhile, children and families enjoyed the funfair, watched pig racing, petted farm animals and cheered on falcons diving for bait while hanging from a kite.

Mellissa Morgan, of the Ms Cupcake Shop, said: “The sun has come out and people have come out in droves. It wouldn’t have felt like summer without the Lambeth Country Show.”

Ian Andrew, interim director at Vauxhall City Farm, said they had brought more animals this year because other farms had not been able to make the weekend.

Mr Andrew said: “The council was forced to move it because of the Olympics and I think they have done very well.”

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