Brentwood Council had decided to combine the annual Strawberry Fair with the Armed Forces Day this year. That meant that as well as the traditional childrens’ rides, strawberry stands, arts and crafts, there were also a number of military themed things going on.
I had set out to capture the strawberry fair, but looking through the pictures, there aren’t many strawberries, nor many general shots of the fairgrounds. So that’ll have to be my resolution for next year: Capture strawberries during strawberry fair!
The Company Of 1415 was there with their archers, knights and even a medieval canon. In support of help for heroes, they taught archery to anyone who wanted to have a go. £1 for 5 arrows, and double price if you wanted to shoot a live target. The live target caused a few raised eyebrows, but sure enough, one of the knights donned his full armour and let the children shoot rubber-nosed arrows at him. There was even a child or two that managed to hit!
A slightly more modern version of the armed forces was represented by the Essex Regiment, a military re-enactment group, in their original uniforms, as well as cadets and serving personel from the army and navy. They had brought various military vehicles from both world wars as well as other armed conflicts. There was an information booth for the interested – and for the very interested, there was maybe even a chance to sign up.
The Royal British Legion had a stall with refreshments (thank you very much for the water and juice – it was life giving on such a hot day) and the The Royal British Legion Youth Band was leading the parade from St Thomas’s Road to the fairground. The Mayor was there to receive salutes, and from the members of the legion, there was an impressive display of medals.
It wasn’t all soldiers or weapons, though. The Ajax Dog display team demonstrated agility, the Brentwood School Dance Academy performed a brilliant dance show, there were arts and crafts, face painting, jazz, beer and strawberries. There was even the Rumford Morris Men, who showed off their skills at this very typical English traditional dance (and no, the name is not a spelling mistake).
There’s a slideshow with additional and larger pictures here.