Sweeps Festival 2013

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Went to Sweeps – we had intended to go by train but decided at the last minute to drive down. We parked up the car near this rather splendid Morris Minor and walked round to the High Street. I don’t know if we arrived at just the wrong time but there didn’t seem to be many Morris dancers about but we watched a couple of sides until Ben moaned so much we decided to head off to the Castle grounds.

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After watching him playing in the Moat for a while we wandered back down to the High Street to grab something to eat. We sat on the wall by the War Memorial eating and were constantly being bumped and jostled by people climbing onto the wall so they could get past the side that were dancing – don’t see the point of coming down the sweeps if you don’t have the patience to stand and watch the Morris Dancers. After lunch we decided to head back to the Castle grounds and take Ben on some of the rides at the fair.

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We actually ended up staying in the castle grounds for most of the rest of the afternoon. As we arrived Galley beggar were just finishing off their set and they were followed by an American Singer called Jerry Harmon who sounded quite good above the din of the funfair! Later was we sat watching Ben trying out circus skills Ian Cutler and Hot Rats finished off the days’s music on the stage (which was the one we had at SoL last year).

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Ben got a new hat at one of the stalls and I had a good rummage in the record fayre – there were lots of things I would love to buy but everything is so expensive these days – the new 180g pressings cost around £20 a time and even old stuff goes for about a fiver! There were a few in the box that I knew I had already and I almost bought Magic in the Air by Lindisfarne as I saw them on the Christmas run that year (1977) at Newcastle City Hall but I couldn’t put my hand on my heart and say for certain that I didn’t already have it in the storage box with my other records so I didn’t but it – just in case! I did however buy a vinyl copy of George Harrison’s All things must pass which cost £5 for a 3 record box set. The discs looked in reasonable condition although it was difficult to tell without playing them! I did notice though that the set was sold off by Westminster Libraries for 1p at some point in the past! It felt weird wandering home with a vinyl album under my arm after all these years!

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We left the castle around quarter to five and I went to stand in a queue for a cash point while Sarah took Ben to the loo. I was about 3 people from the front when I discovered that my wallet wasn’t in my bag! Unfortunately by this time the battery on my phone had gone flat so I couldn’t call Sarah either so I had to dash round to find her. She rang home and Lissi looked around and found it in my other bag – phew! Panic over we headed to the Gordon  Hotel where I wanted to catch Didi Bergman before heading home

Didi Bergman at Sweeps

Picture by Phil Dillon