Stunt Mania in actionThere were no candles, but plenty of flames as the Wiltshire Steam and Vintage Rally celebrated its 40th anniversary at Oare this weekend.
The flames came in the form of mother-and-son motorcycle display team Stunt Mania. Over two shows each day they thrilled crowds with jumps, wheelies and - finally - fire stunts, with self-proclaimed Fire Queen Hayley Rilings riding her bike through a blazing hay bale as her son Ashley mounted a ramp and jumped above her.
Creating lots of smoke, but enjoying a far more sedate pace, were the steam miniatures. More than 30 of them took to the arena, and several could be seen ring-side running belt-driven agricultural equipment.
There were plenty of full-size steam engines around the Rainscombe Park showground too, including a 1909 Burrell Agricultural Engine owned and driven by Tim Mayhew of Wilton near Salisbury.
There were almost 80 vintage commercial vehicles including delivery and haulage trucks, fire engines and ambulances, Land Rovers and Jeeps, most in stunning condition after being brought back to life by enthusiastic owners.
The show attracts well over 100 classic and vintage cars every year. Some - including Minis, VW Beetles and MG roadsters – are barely older than the show itself. Others, like the 1992 convertible BMW318i, have attained the status of recent classics.
But undoubtedly the oldest, and the noisiest, was the 1905 Fiat Isotta Fraschini land speed record car. The spoked rear wheels are driven by a chain attached to a 16.5 litre aero engine designed to power an airship. It has a top speed of 120mph, and was warmly welcomed by enthusiasts having made the short trip from Burbage – especially when that engine was first fired up.
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Tim Mayhew with his Burrell Agricultural EngineA 1969 E-Type Jaguar, 1972 VW Beetle 1302S, and a Triumph Herald from 1960A 1949 Thornycroft delivery van in Elkes Biscuits livery, a 1959 Bensons Sweets delivery van, and a Bedford Morris vanMiniature engines in steamA four-and-a-half-inch scale replica of a Burrell engineThe 1905 Fiat Isotta Fraschini in action
David Lemon as Mr Toad welcomes visitors to the windmillA Wind in the Willows themed family fun day brought hundreds of adults and children to the only working windmill in Wessex on Saturday.
The event was a chance to play games, meet animals, and taste produce – including bread made with flour milled on site – in the grounds of Wilton Windmill.
Wilton Windmill was builtin 1821 and fell into disrepair in the 1920s. In the 1960s it was listed as Grade II, and in 1971 it was bought by Wiltshire County Council and leased to the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust, which early in 1972 began to restore it to working condition.
The windmill started milling again in 1976, and the running was taken over by the Wilton Windmill Society, which still runs the mill today.
The windmill will next be open to the general public during Heritage Open Days weekend, which runs from September 10 to 13.
Meanwhile, the windmill is hosting a murder mystery evening next Saturday, June 27. For more information, see our feature here.
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Mr Toad arrives in a 1935 Morris Eight driven by Tony Gilbert, one of the men who persuaded Wiltshire Council to buy the windmill in 1971In Wind in the Willows the stoats and weasels take over Toad Hall. Here, a ferret has a go.Kymani Wheatley (5) and his brother Eben (7) watch the snail racingRichard Paget of My Apple Juice. Richard collects apples from people's gardens, juices them and returns them in bottles branded with the fruit owner's name. His new product line – launched at the event – is sorbet.The Garrison Gallopers morris dancers entertained the crowds
Young fans meet Pete Robertson Freddie Cowan Justin Young and Arni Arnason of The VaccinesHundreds of music fans made a last-minute dash to Marlborough on Saturday to enjoy an intimate set by indie rock band The Vaccines.
The band performed at Azuza to promote their new album English Graffiti, and signed copies of the album for fans at neighbouring record store Sound Knowledge, which organised the gig.
The event was only announced on Thursday afternoon, but such is the following of the band – especially among younger music-lovers – that there were never any doubts the 6pm performance would be well-attended.
In the event, a quiet acoustic set lasting 25 minutes was delivered by frontman Justin Young, while bandmates Árni Árnason, Pete Robertson and Freddie Cowan watched from the side of the stage.
In fact the six-song set was so quiet that many fans outside the venue did not realise the performance – which included new tracks Denial and Want You So Bad – had begun, while others strained to hear the music over the excited chatter.
"It’s amazing you all came out at such short notice,” Young told the crowd. “You ordered The Vaccines and got a pub singer.” He then led fans in a singalong of two of the band’s best-known hits, If You Wanna and Wetsuit.
Justin Young of The Vaccines performs an intimate acoustic set at AzuzaEnglish Graffiti is the band’s third studio album. It follows the debut What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?, which was the best selling debut album of 2011, and The Vaccines Come of Age, which entered the UK album chart at Number 1.
The concert was one of a regular series hosted by Sound Knowledge at Azuza. The next, on Sunday, July 5 at 4.30pm is a performance by indie folk singer-songwriter Lucy Rose, to support the release of her new album, Work It Out.
Lucy, who has also collaborated with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club and Manic Street Preachers, last appeared in Marlborough back in 2012 to perform tracks from her debut album Like I Used To, which went on to chart in the top 15 and from which she released six singles including Middle of the Bed and Shiver.
The concert is free to attend for those who buy a copy of the album. For more details, log on to the Sound Knowledge Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Sound-Knowledge/108109829223506
Louise Cournarie and the St Peter's pianoThe latest of the ‘Brilliant Young Pianists’ at Saint Peter’s Church (May 10) was Louise Cournarie, who says she loved playing the St Peter's piano and would like to come back again to give another recital. And from the enthusiastic reception she got from the audience, she would surely be welcome.
Louise is a native of Toulouse where she began to play the piano aged 3! On completing her baccalaureate at the Paris Conservatoire, she moved to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Charles Owen.
She is now studying for her Master’s degree at the Royal Academy and developing her interest in music of the Baroque and early Classical eras.
Her interpretation of the Bach Sixth Partita, which she played at St Peter's, earned her this year's Harold Samuel Bach Prize leading to her first Wigmore Hall recital. As her career blossoms she has recital engagements at a number of music festivals both in the United Kingdom and in France.
The evening’s programme explored some of her Baroque repertoire and began with that Bach Partita in B Minor, one of a group of works published in 1731. It is a majestic work, quite solemn in mood thanks to its key signature. Six dance movements follow a formidable Toccata which gives way to the first fugue of the evening, played with uncoiling energy, bursting into a cadenza based on the opening chords of the Toccata.
Then comes an intimate Allemande, like a two part invention, followed by a Courante, fast- flowing and syncopated. A jaunty and cheerful Air leads into a stately Sarabande, its opening chords a faint echo of the Toccata.
The work finishes with a dazzling Gigue, another giant fugue, relentlessly building up to a great climax. This is a work of some technical wizardry, a giant mountain to climb. It certainly enabled Louise to display her skill and her understanding of Bach’s work.
This was followed by Mozart’s Sonata in B-minor. The work opens with a lyrical cantabile movement, light and graceful, which becomes progressively more agitated. A gentle and profound slow movement follows with Louise carefully developing the plangent yearning of the melody. The third movement is a jaunty rondo, the provocative theme inevitably returning at regular intervals, each time more embellished with the work culminating in a spectacular cadenza before one final replay of the theme. Thanks to the minor key the work has a sense of foreboding, which Louise exploited very well.
The second half began with Handel’s Suite in F Minor - originally scored for the harpsichord. This too is a formidable and stately piece, beginning with a solemn Prelude, all double dotted and fashionably French in style, which then erupts into a magnificent fugue, played with energy and technical virtuosity. Then follow two more gentle movements, first a graceful Allemande and a fiery Courante.
The work finishes with a dazzling Gigue, musically ‘angular’, played here with whirlwind energy. Louise captured the drama and majesty of this work, although a little more contrast between the different movements would have been desirable.
The evening finished with Schubert’s Six Moments Musicaux. This was soul-music for Louise, and she played these wistful pieces sensitively, coddling them as if they were precious jewels. The lovely Andantino, with its repeating theme died away to nothing as if time itself had stood still.
By way of contrast the third has a dance like staccato rhythm, not unlike a mazurka, but gently fading away with the daylight of a still summer’s evening. The fourth is all perpetual motion, while the fifth is one long impatient gallop played with here with ferocity - saddle-gripping stuff!
The last movement is a return to the wistful: a giant sigh of yearning for the fading sunlight, or, indeed life itself, so close was Schubert’s death. The Schubert was magically played, the pathos and gentle beauty of these wonderful contrasting pieces admirably explored.
It was a very fine concert played to a very appreciative audience. It was also unusual in that several of the works were in minor keys creating an overall degree of solemnity well leavened by the gentle beauty of the Schubert.
|Tickets £10 / £8 for MBG and St Peter's Trust Members available from The White Horse Bookshop, Sound Knowledge, the MBG website and on the door.
|The recitals are sponsored by Hioscox Insurance and are held in aid of The Marlborough Brandt Group and The St Peter's Trust.