Half-time, and just ahead on points

End of day one finds us well established at cruising altitude. The sun continues to shine, the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton have honoured us with their presence, and first indications of the level of public support look hopeful. Official figures are not yet available, and in a new venue it is difficult to judge what is a good-sized crowd, but it looked fairly busy.

A few minor problems, like well-hidden toilets and cafe queues lengthened by the abolition of self-service refreshments for traders and exhibitors. Nothing a well-honed exhibition team couldn’t handle. One unexpected plea for help came via phone from a group of exhibitors whose hire car had had its radiator modified by a van reversing across a canal bridge at Halsall. A rescue car was despatched to recover one of their number to run their layout, whilst the others remained at the scene to negotiate a replacement vehicle, fill in a lot of forms and no doubt examine the small print of their insurance with more than usual interest.

The Saturday evening party at Jim & Fiona’s also went to form, with live steam in the garden preceding curry and cake, washed down with beverages served from a subterranean drinking den with a maritime motif. Guides were available to lead guests further into the extensive cellars, to discover not one but two Italian layouts. Also one which looked suspiciously Southern, located at the very end of the ball of string leading back to the safety of the beer cooler. Interesting to note that, in the interests of the environment, a beer-can crusher has been installed immediately above the green recycling bin. Apparently as the evening wears on the attempts to use it become increasingly inept.