Cambridge Scything Festival 2023

After a few years break we were pleased to be able to organise a return of scything competition to the Eastern counties.

This event took place on 23rd July at Wandlebury Country Park on the Gog Magog Hills just outside Cambridge.

The site has the remains of a circular Iron Age Hillfort as well as flower-rich meadows, woodland, orchards, walled gardens and an 18th century house with stables. It is owned and cared for by local charity ‘Cambridge Past, Present & Future’, who kindly welcomed us there to hold the event.

This initially low-key event was well attended, and was well received by both the public and our hosts.

On the back of this we hope to return next summer with an expanded event which will continue the series of Eastern Counties Scythe Festivals which formerly ran at Wimpole Hall each year from 2008 to 2019.

Over the weekend there was mass mowing, scythe courses, taster sessions, and of course, competitions.

5 x 5m Individual Competition Results

Peter Blackwell9502:238.0
Terry StandenE 9502:517.5
Richard Brown7503:588.0
Shane O’Reilly*7503:135.5
Teddy Sawyer*8505:436.5
Chris Riley7507:568.0
Jane O’Reilly*7507:156.0
Mary Ellis*6509:537.5
Richard Reumerman**6009:125.5
Roger Prater**6505:383.0
Nik Sirotinin**7510:114.0
MiroBroken blade

Blades in cm, E = English; Time mins: secs; * = veteran; ** = novice

Peter Blackwell and Terry Standen came out top of the leader board

Two teams lined out to compete against each other. The team above won.

Scythe vs Strimmer

Peters status as Champion was later challenged by a shadowy figure from Cambridge Past, Present & Future with a brush cutter!

Peter and his scythe beat this challenge from Hannah with a time of 41 seconds and quality 8. This against 66 seconds and quality 5.5 for the professionally operated brush cutter.

The event was conceived and coordinated by Jim McVittie himself a volunteer with Cambridge Past, Present & Future

The excellent photos were taken by Janna Reumerman and Shane O’Reilly.

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