We’d been excitedly anticipating CarFest North and it had finally arrived. We travelled on the Thursday to the Shrewsbury Arms about a mile from the site, where we camped up. This allowed us to get on site early and we were parked and pitched with the kettle on bright and early.
We went onto the festival site as soon as the gates opened to collect our programme and find out what was on. There were new and different things to see and do and we found lots of new places like the Vintage Village. We liked the Vintage tea room which served pots of tea and freshly baked scones, and if you were particularly lucky in your timing the staff would burst into song too.
Roger and I had a very competitive go at Lawn mower racing, using litter pickers to pick up plastic balls. Two goes, and one victory each, so honours were even. No photos of us, but here’s one of our friends Jane having a go. Look at the concentration.
The cars don’t really do much for me, but there were undoubtedly lots of really whizzy cars on show and lots of displays. We did see some fantastic stunt driving, but not clear on the practical uses of such skills!
The music was a real highlight for me and on Friday I really enjoyed Scouting for Girls. Billy Ocean was an unexpected joy and The Boomtown Rats were compulsive watching, but I do wish Bon Geldolf wasn’t so foul mouthed.
Saturday was a mixed weather day and we spent time hopping into tents to avoid the showers. We managed to get booked into a session in the Weber tent, making Lamb Koftas. Great fun and a good lunch. We also seemed to spend a lot of time by the Badgers Beers and Crabbies tent where free samples were copious and gladly consumed. This was also in the area of the Soreen van and the Doves cereals unit. Thanks to them for the supplies.
Saturday was the day of the air accident that led to the untimely death of Kevin Whyman. We had been half watching the air display and had seen the big black cloud of smoke but hadn’t realised the significance at the time. There was a motorbike stunt team who were periodically jumping through a burning arch and this created plumes of black smoke. We’d presumed this was what we’d seen and were shocked and saddened when we heard there had been a crash.
Chris Evans came on to the main stage before the bands started and told the crowd what had happened. He also announced that in memory of, and in tribute to Kevin the show should go on. Texas came on and sensitively sang an acoustic number before moving into their set. They were followed by Ward Thomas, The Feeling, Seasick Steve (has to be googled to be believed) Sophie Ellis-Bextor (with Kevin and Karen from Strictly) and finally Paul Heaton and Jaqui Abbot. Fantastic music and the rain stayed away all the while the bands were playing.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny and we promised ourselves a lazier day. We visited the Britains Best tent with lots of fine British produce and stocked up on some favourites, visited the tea tent again and made for the main stage which was starting earlier. The session was appropriately started with a minutes silence for Kevin Whyman which was sensitively surrounded by music played by a military band and was wholeheartedly supported by the vast crowd. The Sunday evening music was great again with my highlights being The Shires, The Proclaimers who are a particular favourite and Will Young. This was capped off with Lord of the Dance dancers and fireworks.
CarFest is a fantastic weekend with great music, fab food and exciting cars (if you’re in to these). It raises millions of pounds for Children in Need and is such a lovely event. Chris Evans does a brilliant job as host and it was great to see the support he had, particularly after the air crash. A lovely time, I recommend it to you all.