The 12th to 14th July sees the Oakamoor Festival return to our little village again this year.
The whole weekend’s activities kick off with the ever-popular murder mystery. Song in the Key of Death will take place in the Valley Primary School followed by a traditional Staffordshire pie and pea supper! So, if you want to enjoy some surprisingly good, alongside some not so surprisingly bad, acting, this is the place to be on a Friday night. However, if you manage to work out whodunnit after the performance you’ll be a better man than me, Gunga Din.
Oakamoor Hill Climb
If that’s not enough, on the Saturday morning sees the start of the Oakamoor Revival Hill Climb which features over 100 vintage cars and bikes. This amazing treat for petrol heads (and normal heads) allows you to get up as close as you dare to the vehicles ascending the 1 in 5 climbs up Carr Bank, starting from right outside the village hall.
If you’ve never experienced this, you really should make an effort to get there. The range of vehicles is amazing, as is the speed they climb the hill. From real old crocks wheezing their way up, gearbox and engine whining away fit to bust, to home-built specials and highly modified, turbocharged speed machines wheel-spinning off the line and most of the way up the hill!
Here’s a great video put together by Rod Kirkpatrick from the 2018 event.
Other Saturday Events
If motorised mayhem isn’t your cup of tea, why not spend the Saturday taking part in the duck race? Just buy yourself a plastic duck (well, you’re buying the number on the duck, not the actual duck of course) and watch it ‘race’ down the stream, where it will be (hopefully) captured before it’s swept away down the Churnet River. Also taking place on Saturday will be a Treasure Hunt, Guess the Bear’s Name, all ended off with a session of Bingo in the Village Hall. What more could you ask for from a great village festival?!
If you’re around for Sunday, you’ll be in for a real treat with the annual Flower and Produce Show taking place. If you haven’t sampled this typically English fare before, you don’t know what you’re missing.
We’ve both been recipients of high placings in these competitions before, with Helen’s ‘Three Matching Apples‘ taking a glorious 2nd position in the past and my photo of the village winning the photo competition some years ago.
This year’s categories include such gems as ‘vase of mixed flowers‘, ‘one lettuce‘, ‘six gooseberries on a plate‘ and my personal favourite – ‘three sticks of rhubarb‘! I shall no doubt be entering a photo in this year’s category, which is ‘flowers‘. Fingers crossed.
Alongside this event, apart from the never-ending supply of fabulous tea and cakes in the Village Hall will be the Dog Show on the field as well as face painting and a bunch of other stalls.
Another favourite event taking place is the raft race, which takes place just upstream of the weir. I don’t know if any team has ever ‘shot’ the weir, but it’s an ever-present danger for those teams trying to paddle their craft towards the finish line.
Here’s a great little video showing you some typical action.
So there you have it. A little bit of England, distilled into just a few days in a beautiful little village. We hope to see you there.