And so it was that the Hamlet of Fort Nottingham came to life yesterday with the fun and festivities of the annual Highland Games and the rainy 'Scottish' weather did not deter most people who arrived in droves, dressed in good old gum boots and rain coats. Many donned their Tartan Kilts and some brave people even walked around in Tshirts!
The mist hung on the mountain, true to form, and the bag pipes sang their songs as young girls put on wonderful performances of Scottish dancing. Haggis was waiting along with a wee dram of Whisky and those crazy enough to give it a bash, ran, or slip slided along the 'kilted mile' - a traditional mile run up the mountain which is not for the faint hearted. Kilted Africans tried their hand, unsuccessfully, at 'tossing the caber', much to the amusement of spectators. Then a gentle giant walked onto the scene and effortlessly tossed the caber without any problem.
I have to make special mention of the founder of the Highland Games, and that is of the late David Fox who worked tirelessly, every year, to make this event a success. He passed away this last Christmas, on the mountain, in the hamlet where he had lived for the last fourty five years, so this was the very first Highland Games without him. Watching the people pouring into the event yesterday made me realise what a legacy this man has left behind.....
If you missed it this year, be sure to add the Fort Nottingham Highland Games to your calendar for next year, as it is a real fun filled day for the family, even with all the rain and mist. This only adds to the ambiance.
We'll be opening Simply Sam Trading at the end of April, so come and see what this little Hamlet is all about. If you are a walker, there are the most stunning gentle walks up the mountain, which are just breath taking. Book lunch at Els Amics restaurant (033 2666982), visit the Fort Nottingham Museum which is displayed in a 150 year old stone barn and offers 'Jean's Junk' in the barns opposite. Browse the beautiful Antiques, Vintage and Hand-made items at Simply Sam Trading in the Stable Barn next door, and then a gentle stroll to our very own '150yr old Town Hall' where Vicky Thompson and her artist friends have put together an interesting choice of local art in their very own art gallery including that of local resident and ceramicist, Mick Haige.