Early plans for 2018

posted 30 Dec 2017, 02:40 by Lucas Rudge

We're in the last few days of 2017, but already have a few interesting bookings for 2018.

The Enchanted Market, Bracknell - 10 and 11 February
Described as "An amazing market with an eclectic mix of all that is spiritual, pagan, fae, hand crafted and just beautiful", the
Enchanted Market includes stalls, music, workshops, lectures, and more. It's our first time attending, and we'd love to see familiar faces.

The Sur
rey Steampunk Convivial, New Malden - 24 and 25 February
A wonderful feast of all that is steampunk - tea duelling, bumbershoot baritsu (umbrella fencing), story-tellin
g, music, ostrich racing, battle croquet, teapot racing, and much more; the Surrey Steampunk Convivial (now three times per year) one of our favourite events.

Dartford Round Table Easter Egg Hunt, Dartford - 31 March
Taking place on Easter Saturday, the Dartford Round Table Easter Egg Hunt is a great community event, which we've been happy to support for several years.

gacres Garden Centre, Bybrook Barn, Ashford - 2 April and 28 October
lowing our highly successful visit to Longacres Garden Centre this year, we have been invited back for two days in 2018. Last time, Sam managed a hot air balloon ride.

Morden Hall Park Country Fair, Morden - 5 to 7 May

Very well-run by Oakleigh Fairs, the Morden Hall Park Country Fair is a large show which
has something for everyone. Highly recommended!

The Brogdale Collections, Faversham - 10 June, 15 July, 25 and 26 August, and 13-14 October
We are thrilled to be attending four of The Brogdale Collections' fairs in 2018. The S
trawberry Fair in June and Cherry Fair in July are both single-day events, while the cider Fair in Augu
st and Apple Fair in October are both two days. There is also the opportunity to view the orchards at all of these events. Brogdale is easy to reach - just a mile off the M2, and there is normally a free shuttle bus running to and from Faversham
station for the festivals.

Wood Fair, Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum - 28 to 30 September
The Ben
tley Woodfair is a celebration of woodlands, forestry, timber, trees woodcrafts and much more. The fair is set in two fields of stands, exhibits and displays and an amazing woodland full of demonstrations and activities, and you may also look around the museum.

Phobophobia, The London Bridge Experience - October
We don't yet have the exact dates, but are told that Phobophobia will run either six or eight nights when we return for our sixth year in 2018.

April to July 2017

posted 2 Apr 2017, 03:33 by Lucas Rudge

We're about to make a start on our public season for 2017. Our current bookings through to end-July are below, but please note bookings may be added or removed at short notice, so check with our Facebook page to see the latest. 

Tuesday, 4th - Private booking
Friday, 14th - Beckenham Round Table Easter Egg Hunt, Croydon Road Recreation Ground, 10:00-14:00
Saturday, 15th - Dartford Round Table Easter Egg Hunt, Central Park, Market Street DA1 1DB, 10:00-13:00
Monday, 17th - Friends of Priory Gardens Easter Egg Hunt, Priory Gardens, Orpington, 10:30-12:30
Tuesday, 18th - Private booking
Sunday, 23rd - Private booking
Friday, 28th - Private booking (school visit)
Saturday, 29th-Monday, 1st May -  Morden Hall Park Country Fair, Morden Hall Road SM4 5JD, 10:00-17:00 each day

Monday, 1st - Morden Hall Park Country Fair (see above)
Saturday, 6th - Private booking
Saturday, 13th - St Margaret's School Fair, Lee SE13 5SQ, 13:30-16:00
Sunday, 14th - St Christopher's Fun Walk, Keston Common, 08:30-16:00
Tuesday, 30th - Layham's Farm Shop, 11:00-14:00

Thursday, 1st - Knight's Garden Centre, Woldingham, 11:00-15:00
Tuesday, 6th - Private booking (home education)
Thursday, 8th - Private booking
Saturday, 10th - Ham Fair, Ham Common, times t.b.c.
Saturday, 17th - Crofton School Fair, Petts Wood, 12:00-16:00
Saturday, 24th - Worcester Park Scout Fete, Braemar Road KT4 8SW, 12:00-16:00

Saturday, 1st - Tubbenden Primary School Fair, Orpington BR6 9SD, 11:00-15:00
Saturday, 1st - Biggin Hill Festival, 12:30-16:30
Saturday, 8th - St Olave's School Fair, Orpington BR6 9SH, 12:00-15:30
Saturday, 8th - Chelsfield Village Fair, 12:00 onwards
Thursday, 13th - Private booking (school visit)
Friday, 14th - Private booking (school visit)
Sunday, 16th - Warlingham Rugby Club Classic Car Show, Limpsfield Road CR6 9RB, 12:00-17:00
Saturday/Sunday, 22nd/23rd - Warlingham Sausage and Cider Festival, Limpsfield Road CR6 9RB
Sunday, 30th - Holm Place Anglers Craft Fair, Sheerness ME12 3EU, 10:00-15:00

Upcoming bookings

posted 5 Jun 2016, 00:44 by Lucas Rudge   [ updated 5 Jun 2016, 01:00 ]

Our current bookings through to September are below. Please note bookings may be added or removed at short notice, so check with our Facebook page to see the latest. 

Saturday, 11th – West Norwood Fire Station Open Day, 210 Knights Hill SE27 0QA, 11:00-17:00
Friday, 17th - Private booking
Saturday, 18th – Crofton School Summer Fair, Petts Wood, 12:00-16:00
Saturday, 18th - Ruskin Park Summer Fete, 13:00-17:00
Friday, 24th - The Highway School Summer Fair, 15:30-18:30
Saturday, 25th – Woodside School Summer Fair, 12:00-16:00 
Sunday, 26th – Sundridge Fete and Classic Car Show, near Westerham, 14:00-16:30

Friday, 1st - Bromley High Community Festival, 11:00-15:30
Saturday, 2nd - Darrick Wood Junior School Summer Fun Day, 11:00-15:00 
Saturday, 2nd – Biggin Hill Festival, 12:30-16:30
Saturday, 9th – Adamsrill School Fair, Catford, SA6 4AQ, 12:00-16:00
Saturday, 16th – Chelsfield Village Show
Sunday, 17th – Foal Farm Open Day – Note: No live animals at this one – information and sales only
Sunday, 17th - Warlingham Rugby Club Classic Car and Bike Show, 12:00-17:00
Friday, 29th - Private booking
Saturday, 30th – Clapham Park Community Day, 14:00-17:00
Saturday/Sunday, 30th/31st – Surrey Steampunk Convivial, New Malden


Sunday, 4th – Heavy Horse Show, Shoreham
Sunday, 11th - Wimbledon & Putney Stables Open Day
Sunday, 11th – Bexley Donkey Derby, Danson Park, DA16 2BL

The Saga of the Snake on the Roof

posted 8 Apr 2016, 11:06 by Lucas Rudge   [ updated 8 Apr 2016, 11:07 ]

A few years ago we "gained" a large pink furry snake that sat on the back of the pick-up when we went to shows. Unfortunately it was stolen during a fireworks evening (either that, or it got frightened by the loud bangs and ran off).

Then in May last year, as we were packing up at the end on a weekend event, one of our volunteers appeared like this.

On that day, the snake went home with us inside the car, but that evening, with the assistance of a couple of ratchet straps and a bungee cord, it was secured to the roof bars, where it has stayed ever since (except for motorway journeys, as we found it tried to detach itself).

It's had three main effects. Firstly, when we arrive at a show ground the person on the gate says "I know who you are!" and we are immediately let in and directed to our pitch (there was one occasion when the person at the entrance asked "Which stall are you?", but she quickly realised). The second effect is that, when we are driving through towns, children (and sometimes their parents) point and wave, which is nice. And finally, people say "I've seen your van around the place", which is also good.

Not to mention we've recently come back to it in a supermarket car park to find a couple of ravens pulling out the stuffing for nest-building materials - so it's good for wildlife too!

So when we discovered on Wednesday night that someone had stolen the ratchet straps and bungee, we were none too pleased. Yes, we still have the snake, but if we replace them there's a risk that they will be stolen again.

If only there were some way of bolting it to the roof .....

One of our handlers has a large number of steampunk friends, who tend to be creative and have wonderful workshops, so last night a call went out to the British Steampunk Community on Facebook "Following the theft of tie-downs that held a 15 foot bright green furry snake on the roof of our van we are considering replacing it with a glass fibre version which can be bolted to the roof bars. Does anyone know of someone who might be able to make one for us? Also an idea of costs. 

Two minutes later, someone had tagged a friend - someone our handler knew of, but didn't actually know. An hour later came the friend request, and we swiftly received a proposal of how it could be created. It was exactly how we thought it should be done, so an estimate of cost was agreed, photographs of the current snake sent as guidance  - and we had commissioned a glass fibre/resin snake for the roof!

Not only that, but within a couple of hours, he'd started modelling the head and posted a photograph.

Needless to say, we're excited about this - and so, by all accounts, is the creator, Dr Cornelius Quack.

This leaves us with three questions:
  1. If you're so clever you tell us what colour it should be! (Thank you, Douglas Adams)
  2. What to we do with the existing snake? (We have a couple of ideas)
  3. How do we get it back from Manchester? (Other than the obvious - drive up there, attach it, and drive back).

2016 Season - Bookings to date

posted 3 Apr 2016, 22:53 by Lucas Rudge

It's the start of a new season. Below is a current list of our confirmed bookings, but please check back, and also check Facebook, for additions and alterations.

Sunday/Monday, 1st/2nd – Blindley Heath Country Show
Monday, 2nd – Petts Wood May Fayre
Sunday, 8th – St Christopher’s Bluebell Walk, Cudham Rec
Friday, 27th – Meet the Authors Day, The Yellow Book, Brighton
Sunday, 29th – Scout Camp, Biggin Hill
Sunday/Monday, 29th/30th – Motorsport @Crystal Palace
Thursday, 2nd – Knight’s Garden Centre, Woldingham, 11:00-15:00
Saturday, 4th – St Christopher’s Wild West Fair, Green St Green
Saturday. 11th – West Norwood Fire Station Open Day, 210 Knights Hill SE27 0QA
Saturday, 18th – Crofton School Summer Fair, Petts Wood
Sunday, 26th – Sundridge Fete and Classic Car Show, near Westerham
Saturday, 2nd – Biggin Hill Festival
Saturday, 9th – Adamsrill School Fair, Catford, SA6 4AQ
Saturday, 16th – Chelsfield Village Show
Sunday, 17th – Foal Farm Open Day – Note: No live animals at this one – information and sales only
Saturday, 30th – Clapham Park Community Day
Saturday/Sunday, 30th/31st – Surrey Steampunk Convivial, New Malden
Sunday, 4th – Heavy Horse Show, Shoreham
Sunday, 11th - Wimbledon & Putney Stables Open Day
Sunday, 11th – Bexley Donkey Derby, Danson Park, DA16 2BL


posted 3 Apr 2016, 22:43 by Lucas Rudge

We would like to offer our heartiest congratulations to one of our volunteer handlers, Sherie, on her marriage to James.

Temporary Suspension of Rescue Operations

posted 27 Jun 2015, 01:33 by Lucas Rudge

We are having to temporarily suspend rescue operations.

Shortly after taking in Alfa and Gandalf we received an urgent 'phone call from someone who was about to be made homeless. We were asked to take in 13 snakes, 6 lizards and one cat (Maine Coon).

We don't really have the room for all this in one go but no-one else would help them (yes, that includes the well-known big centers round here) and I couldn't help thinking "what if that was me?"

They intend to take back the animals when they get settled so it's not a permanent arrangement but obviously in the meantime we'll be stretched to our absolute limit. Thanks to Mike for stepping in and assisting us or it would not be possible to do it at all.

If anyone else would like to help out, please contact us about making a donation via Paypal.

Meet Alfa

posted 27 Jun 2015, 01:25 by Lucas Rudge

Alfa is a dwarf boa who came to use from a military gentleman who decided that his frequent re-postings made it difficult for him to care for her properly. She is a lively, inquisitive young lady who is already proving to be a hit at shows.


Alfa's name was suggested by a friend - ALFA stands for A Long Fun Animal.

Bruce the Bearded Dragon - An Announcement

posted 27 Jun 2015, 01:12 by Lucas Rudge

We have decided to retire Bruce, the Bearded Dragon. We know he is much-loved by his many admirers, but we feel this is the best decision for him.

When we started to go back out to shows this spring, it quickly became apparent that Bruce was not enjoying them; he was trying to get back onto the table when held, and showing general signs of stress. Where he used to sit quite happily on his travel box for hours, he was trying to hide after just a short period.

Also at home, although he continued to enjoy curling up on someone's shoulder for an evening, he became angry if he saw any of the other lizards being handled, e.g. to clean the stuck shed from a leopard gecko's feet.

We recently met again a family we have known for over two years who have past experience of keeping bearded dragons. It quickly became apparent that the whole family loved Bruce and knew how to care for him and, more importantly, Bruce loved the daughter (and quite liked the rest of the family). We therefore took the decision we thought we never would - to rehome Bruce to a new family.

We are confident that Bruce will live out his remaining few years in a loving and comfortable home, and probably be thoroughly spoiled. It also means that we will never be tempted to take him out for "just one more show".

Updated events as at 19 April 2015

posted 19 Apr 2015, 04:04 by Lucas Rudge

Our current bookings through to the end of July are as follows. AS events may be added or cancelled at short notice, please also check our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

3rd/4th - Blindley Heath Country Show
4th - Petts Wood May Fayre
9th - Seal C of E School Wild West Fair
17th - St Christopher's Hospice Fun Walk, Keston Common
24th/25th - Motorsport@the Palace, Crystal Palace Park

6th - St Christopher's Hospice Summer Fair, Green St Green
13th - Crofton Infants' School Summer Fair, Petts Wood
13th - Private evening event - Wedding
20th -  St Christopher's Hospice Family Fun Day, Sydenham
26th - Castlecombe Primary School Summer Fair
27th - Ruskin Park Summer Fair
27th - Unicorn School Summer Fair

3rd - Bromley High School Community Festival
4th - Adamsrill School Fair, Catford
4th - Biggin Hill Festival
11th - Chelsfield Village Fair
11th - Downe School Summer Fair
12th - Sundridge Village Fair and Classic Car Show
18th - Astley Centre Summer Fair

As you can see, our weekends are already filling up, so if you would like us to attend your event please contact us as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

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