Coniston Country Fair


Driving into Coniston we spotted a number of signs advertising the Coniston Country Fair that was taking place on Sunday 19th July. It sounded interesting so we walked over to Coniston Hall where it was taking place, arriving around midday. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but ended up having an enjoyable afternoon.

It was rather like a giant church fete with animals, fell running and wrestling. There were trade stands selling food stuffs, craft items, clothing and all sorts of other things plus the obligatory food stalls and refreshment tent.

At the entry to the field there was a small display of vintage tractors


and pens of animals including some Herdwick Sheep


The fair incorporated a dog show with its own arena, with competitions for various breeds.



A display of birds of prey



The fair incorporates a fell race – up to the top of the Old Man of Coniston and back. The men’s record is just over 52 minutes! Today the field was depleted due to a major race taking place elsewhere. But there were a decent number of men of various ages and a few women.

They’re off



and that’s where they’re heading to.


Conditions weren’t good so no records were broken, but the winner was back in just over an hour.


followed a little while later by the first woman home


In the main arena there were various activities taking place, including children’s races and competitions such as egg throwing. While we were waiting for the fell runners to return there was a display of lurcher “racing” with dogs chasing a mechanical “hare” – a plastic carrier bag.



The dogs seemed to enjoy it although in all but one case they cleverly ran around the obstacles rather than over them!

The general public were allowed to let their on dogs have a go and it was fun watching the dogs run off in various directions – only sometimes chasing the “hare”. At the end, there was a general free for all.


Then it was the wrestling – the traditional Cumberland and Westmoreland style. There were several competitions for different age ranges and weight categories with the men on last in the Open Age competition. Some of the competitors in the junior bouts were female.

Some of the younger competitors were wearing the traditional costume of shorts, long Johns and embroidered vest and there was a prize for the best costume.


Then on to the wrestling. It’s nothing like the staged WWF that’s popular these days or the grappling my grandmother used to enjoy on the TV many years ago

The starting backhold position involves the wrestlers standing chest to chest, grasping each other around the body with their chins on their opponent’s right shoulder. The right arm of each contestant is positioned under his opponent’s left arm. Once the grip is taken the umpire gives the signal to start the contest by calling “en guard”, then “wrestle”. The wrestlers attempt to unbalance their opponent, or make them lose their hold, using methods such as lifting throws known as “hipes”, twisting throws such as “buttocks” and trips like the inside click, cross click, back heel or outside stroke. This is known as a “fall”. If any part of a wrestler’s body touches the ground aside from his feet then he loses. If both fall down at once the last to hit the ground is deemed the winner. If it is unclear which wrestler hit the ground first the fall is disqualified and must be started again. this is known as a “dog fall”. A win can also be achieved if either party loses his grip on the other while his opponent still retains his hold. (Source: Wikipedia)






The wrestler in the white vest was good, but didn’t stand a chance against the big guy who was the eventual winner of the “heavyweight” category.


After the wrestling tournament we decided to go for a walk along the lake. The sun was out and it was turning into a pleasant evening


People were out on the lake


When we got back to the cottage it was nice enough to spend a short while in the garden



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