Wadworth Shire Horses On Holiday (Friday 7 August)

Time once again for the wonderful Wadworth shires to begin their fortnight's holiday free to gallop around and graze in a field in Poulshot. As always, the holiday began with a send off at the Raven in the village, where each was treated to a pint of Wadworth's beer, but there was a newcomer this year.

Since Prince's retirement, the Wadworth team have been looking for a replacement, and last year they acquired a young shire horse called Archie. At 18.1 hands he is already nearly as tall as the others. He has been getting on well with Monty and Max and the training is also going very well. He is now three years old and they hope that he will  be able to start work during 2016, when he will alternately replace either Max or Monty on the weekday rounds so there is always one horse at the stables for the visitors to see.

This day was Archie's first ever public appearance and any fears that they had beforehand about how he would cope were soon allayed as he was joined by the other two shires in front of the crowd and offered his glass of 6X by head horseman Martin Whittle.

Here he is downing his first ever pint.

Max is less keen on beer than Monty and declined most of the pint offered by horseman Callum Whittle, and so it was passed on to the groom Hannah to give to Monty, who quickly finished it off.

As soon as they were relieved of their reins in the field, all three raced around the perimeter of the field together, kicking their magnificent hooves in the air and making a most impressive spectacle.

When beer deliveries were all by horse in their heyday there would have been 40 or more shires operating from the brewery in Devizes, so this remaining threesome are an important heritage reminder. As well as working a five-day week Max and Monty have been winning top awards at all the shows so far this year.

The same day marked the 25th anniversary of the re-opening of the Kennet and Avon Canal to through traffic, and this was being celebrated at the top of the Caen Hill Locks, up the road from Poulshot, and so I went along there afterwards, as shown in the Extra. There was a stand selling ale from the Kennet and Avon Brewery so I had a half of Pillbox ale and quizzed them about their relocation.

Both the offices and the brewery are shortly to open in Melksham (having been at Sells Green and Trowbridge respectively) and there will be a celebratory event there on 18-19 September, so I made a note in my diary.

14.8.2015 (1605 hr)

Blip #1632 (#1882 including archived blips)
Consecutive Blip #000
Day #1963
LOTD #866 (#987 including archived blips)

The Wadworth Shires Go on Holiday, 7 August 2015 (Flickr album)
A Visit To Caen Hill Locks, 7 August 2015 (Flickr album)

Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Serpent Power - Lucifer's Dreambox (2015)
A collaboration between Ian Skelly (from the Coral) and Paul Molloy (of the Zutons), the Serpent Tower formed in 2014, and this track appeared on the Mojo cover CD for the June 2015 issue curated by Paul Weller, and enjoyed by me on this day.

One Year Ago:
Calne 1659 hr

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