Winchester Hat Fair

Friday 5th July 2019

We picked this C&MH Rally because of its location – less than a mile from Winchester town centre. We had intended to arrive mid-afternoon but were delayed by a last minute Hospital appointment in Chippenham.

We didn’t encounter any holdups on our journey and arrived at the Rugby Club field at 7.30pm. Nigel had phoned earlier to check this would be OK.

We were welcomed by Audrey who showed us to our pitch marker and checked we were happy. After getting setup Nigel went to the Rally Marshall’s caravan to do the financial bit and get our Rally pack while I prepared our meal. Included were the usual tourist info, the itinerary and a quiz sheet.

After eating we went for our traditional exploratory trundle of the local area – found the path to the town centre –

path riv

and, of course, we ended up at the Rugby Clubhouse, just for a quick one you understand. We met a few of our fellow campers there so had a bit of a chat.

Now you may remember me saying that my brother Roy was thinking about getting a motorhome well he is now the proud owner of a 2010 Elddis Autoquest 130. I mention this because since buying it we have been getting the odd phone call asking questions about issues he’s had – my favourite being his first – while in a car park on Paignton seafront he enquired why his electric kettle wouldn’t boil. Everything else was fine, lights, fridge – he’d even checked all the fuses and trips. I did laugh – I don’t remember us ever being that naive, but maybe we were in other ways.

Saturday 6th July 2019

After a leisurely breakfast and the usual chores we set forth on our planned trundle into the town centre. I had made up a packed lunch as it’s so difficult to stay on SW plan when out, with all the street food available at events like the Hat Fair.

It was a lovely sunny warm day and we enjoyed making our way, along with a lot of other people, into town.

We found among the old streets many acts doing their thing – musicians, dancers, mime artists even small groups performing comic skits, all vying for the change in the pockets of the watching crowds to be put in their hats (hence the name).

As usual we couldn’t see too much as being low on our scooters, and apparently invisible, even if we found a good vantage point it was not long before a group of people would stand in front of us.

Anyway we found other things to see – the Abbey Gardens then around by the Cathedral

past Cheyney Court

cheyn crt 1

through Kingsgate

kgs gt 1

past Winchester College and into the park by the old town wall

wall 1

and weirs on the River Itchen.

We couldn’t visit Wolvesey Castle as a play was being performed in it at the time – we had to come back later – which we did.

A lovely English Heritage maintained ruin, worth seeing.

We had our picnic lunch in the shade of an old oak tree looking over the well-kept gardens by the weir, very peaceful, apart from all the people passing by looking at us and I’m sure envying us for thinking ahead and not relying on very overpriced food from the many stalls around.

After our extravagance of a traditional Italian ice-cream handcrafted into a cone like a soft one from a machine – great to see that skill demonstrated – we made our way slowly back to Voyager.

We stopped briefly to watch a few balls of two separate cricket matches being played on the pitches adjacent to the Rugby club but the call to siesta was too strong to stay for long.

Meal, a bit of TV and bed rounded off a very good day.

Sunday 7th July 2019

It was a bit cloudy first thing but things started to brighten up after breakfast as I looked from my dinette seat at some hunky shirtless Rugby players having a training session just over the field. Forty years ago I may well have been offering to give them a rub down afterwards. Ah, fantasy.

Unusually Flag was at 11.00 where all the usual thanks were expressed. Unusual because the rally didn’t end until the Monday but several campers had to leave today to get home for work. I remember those days. The results of the quiz surprised us – as we’d won – but only a small tin of biscuits.

Another packed lunch made while Nigel did the outside chores then we are off again. Today it’s a trundle to Hockley Viaduct – another of those lovely old railway lines changed into a cycleway which we love.

First back into town where we found the start of the Viaduct Way just down the road from Wolvesey Castle. It is about 2.5 miles long, mostly flat with some great views

and lovely flowers along it.

The viaduct itself is pretty impressive as well.


viad 3

After taking many photos we returned to town using St Cross road for a chance to see the old Hospital (now care home) as well as old cottages.

stcrs hosp

Through Kingsgate from the other side.

kgs gt 2

We had our lunch at the gardens again

wall gdn 1

Roman wl

(and another Italian ice-cream) before heading back to Voyager.

I was seduced by the aroma of a German sausage and couldn’t resist so Nigel & I shared a hot dog – shouldn’t have but it doesn’t hurt sometimes to be a bit naughty.

We didn’t have an evening meal (because of the sausage) as we both felt full.

Lovely sunset over the Rugby field

So a quiet evening both of us, I suspect, thinking of things to come in the next couple of weeks – Nigel being positive and me feeling a bit low – thinking the worst.

Monday 8th July 2019

A leisurely breakfast then the chores and pack up. We left about 11.00 and were home for lunch, and so the washing begins.

On the mat was a new Hospital appointment. They are not hanging about.

5 thoughts on “Winchester Hat Fair

    1. Thanks Katherine – news is not good – I had a cancerous part of my tongue removed a couple of years ago – and now I have developed a lump in my neck – diagnosed as the big ‘C’ again. My oncologist says its very treatable though so fingers crossed. Mary


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