Posts Tagged ‘ tour de presteigne ’

Put Out (yet) More Flags

The Welsh Guards are given the Freedom of the County in Presteigne

The High Street

The town remains as usual neatly balanced with one eye to the future and the other fixed firmly on the past. The last few days have demonstrated this to perfection. First, what is still the world’s only rally for the electric bike took place, as usual a combination of mad costumes and futuristic technology. This was almost immediately followed by the Welsh Guards marching through the town to the Judge’s Lodging, where they were awarded the Freedom of the County. Said freedom being not, as some hopefully suggested, to drink the pubs dry and ravish the female half of Presteigne, but to march with ‘bayonets fixed, drums beating and banners flying’. The occasion was straight out of Thomas Hardy, and was attended by all the great and the good of the district, plus the rest of us. The rain mostly held off on both days, though when it did arrive it was tropical. Scroll down for some pictures, while more pictures of the Tour de Presteigne are here and of the Guards are here.

Tour de Presteigne 2011

They're off

Tour de Presteigne 2011

Pete Mustill, organiser of the Tour de Presteigne, takes it easy

The Welsh Guards are given the Freedom of the County in Presteigne

The Guards arrive

Tour de Presteigne 2011

Boudicca on her tricycle

The Welsh Guards are given the Freedom of the County in Presteigne

Outside the Judge's Lodging

Tour de Presteigne 2011

Ian Marchant and fans take shelter

The Welsh Guards are given the Freedom of the County in Presteigne

Through the churchyard

The Welsh Guards are given the Freedom of the County in Presteigne

Broad Street

Tour de Presteigne 2011

Britannia rules

The Welsh Guards are given the Freedom of the County in Presteigne

Queen Victoria and friends

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Life continues

A lot going on these last few days. First to Stratford to see a really good Antony and Cleopatra, a generous and appropriate birthday present for someone of my advanced years, the play dealing as it does with middle-aged passion. (School parties in the audience could practically be felt resisting the temptation to go ‘yeuchh’). Next up, the (possibly) world-famous ‘Tour de Presteigne’, the world’s only rally dedicated to the electric bike.The culminating fancy-dress parade (five high speed laps of the town) made up in mad inventiveness what it lacked in fashion sense, or indeed any other kind of sense.

Under starter's orders

Then it was off to Sussex to start shooting a couple of gardens for our next book, Great Dixter and Sissinghurst, both looking wonderful as expected and gloriously different from each other.

Finally to the election. I hope – how I hope – that I’m being pessimistic, but the words that spring first to mind are, of course, from the closing lines of Animal Farm – “the creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which

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