Later on I was just in the kitchen when I heard an unmistakeable noise and rushed outside. Yes, it was a spitfire flying low, it passed over a couple of times. The roar of the engines was very thrilling, last year we had a Lancaster bomber, I don't know who organises these things but I love them.
Towards 1.30 we got our things together to walk into town. It's impossible to drive anywhere as roads are closed and visitors have already parked everywhere. There were hundreds of people already lining the streets, listening to the band in the park and generally milling around.
The procession was a little late setting off and, no word of a lie, as soon as the band struck up the first raindrops plopped down. Fortunately it was just a short lightish shower and didn't spoil anything.
There were quite a few floats and bands and the old regulars who always turn out and make an effort. But there was so much that wasn't there, or rather organisations who used to take part and don't do these days. Time was when every bank, supermarket and pub put up a float. Not now, but a small independent children's shoe shop made this marvellous display...
The old woman who lived in a shoe. I can't tell you how much detail they'd gone into, even down to the clothes line with one pair of big knickers flapping in the breeze and the little satellite dish. A lot of work had gone int it and my photo doesn't do it justice.
And then there are the men dressed as ladies. this is a common theme and I suspect a lot of men really love doing this. Indeed, years ago when I was small there used to be a charity football match on carnival day, everyone was in drag. I have the photos of my uncle Ron diving for a header with balloon bosoms all asunder. The most famous lady boys in town are the Billerettes...
These men (and the occasional actual lady) have been doing great things for charity for a long time and are famous now. they always get the biggest cheer and the St John Ambulance Band march with them and play great tunes for them to perform to.
Whilst standing I had developed a very bad backache, this happens occasionally- usually at very annoying times. It stays for a couple of days then goes again by magic. While it's happening though, it's very uncomfortable.
No2 and I were off to a cafe for some lunch and I sent her ahead while I minced along slowly. When I got there I had to slide onto the chair. The waitress noticed and sympathised, she said she gets something similar on and off. We ordered and she returned with the drinks and a heat pack for my back. I could have cried with gratitude, I have these at home and they are great. I slapped it on while at the table. You can't ask for better service than that, and she wouldn't let me pay for the pack. Thank you to her, it saved my afternoon. (It's a great place to eat if you're ever in town, by the way)
One more big shower of rain while we walked home through the park, but no-one was bothered. The band were playing, the Billerettes doing a display and an antiques fair on. The roads to the market place remained closed all day and in the evening so families could enjoy the fair without worrying about traffic. This is the best change that has been introduced over the last few years.
It was a good old fashioned family day out. There should be more of them...