Boconnoc Steam Fair

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    Looks to have been a brilliant show – wish I could have joined you, but at least you had lots, and lots, and lots of yellow and blue flowery bags !

    Look forward to the next two installments


    Thank you, Ivybags! We had a sea of sunshiney yellow bags with blue flowers on – very appropriate for summer, and some of Masterclock’s “panda-pleasers” – the bamboo fabric went a long, long way, especially when enlarged to the standard morssize by some beige lining.

    When we were tidying up on Sunday we found a couple of bags we’d forgotten about, pegged to the tentpole at the back of our stand as a display, but the others have all been rehomed.

    I found another photo that belongs to Friday – this little chap waited very patiently on Dad’s lap while his Mum made them a bag.


    Bagging Boconnoc, part 2

    Saturday started in a couple of surprising ways. For one thing, the sun was almost shining when we woke up, not the heavy rain as forecast. The other thing was that we got off to a flying start, bagging-wise!

    It usually takes at least an hour and a half for people to arrive, find us, have a look round at everything and decide to come back and take up our offer to make themselves a bag. So we have a quiet time to wind bobbins, overhaul temperamental elderly sewing machines, make a few bags ourselves, get another cup of coffee…. You get the picture.

    So the second group of people strolling into the tent say “Yes please, we’ll have a go!” Golly!! I’ll stop winding then, while you pick kits. There were 5 people and we only had three machines, but two of the party were happy to watch or go and look at models in the next tent, so we settled down with a trio of bold needlewomen.


    The friend standing and watching was wearing an interesting outfit – I wish I’d thought to take her photo. It featured lace trimmed knee breeches with fishnet stockings or tights and a fitted waistcoat and jacket. She showed me a photo of her latest creation – a floorlength frock with tiers of organza (or was it chiffon) in palest pink, shading to deep pink at floor level – amazing!! She described her next project – a fitted piratical coat with big, BIG cuffs and lapels and lace – WOW! No sewing lessons needed here 😀

    This lady in the poppy dress came back early on Saturday morning to make a bag for her husband as he liked the bag she made for herself on Friday.


    I was very pleased “himself” was helping the gentleman at the end of the table. He had a lot of technical questions, but luckily, he was asking the right person…. 😉

    The sun came out and it got quite hot but there were extra flaps open in the tent’s side walls to get a breeze through. A fairground organ was playing just outside the tent (fortunately, at the other end of the tent or we’d have been hoarse by the end…)



    I had a hot dog sold through a window of Boconnoc House (looked like a dining room) and a whipped ice cream from a van for lunch.

    While M/C was away having a break I was approached by a man from the Geevor Tin Mine stall a few fields away. Would we be kind enough to look at the sewing machine they had just got out of his partner’s Granny’s loft? My engineer was not present, but I said we’d (HE’d 😉 ) take a look. He came back with the sewing machine lying comfortably on a plastic sledge – what a brainwave! M/C was still away, but I managed to get the box open and took a look.


    A Frister and Rossmann looking all present and correct, but not threaded up correctly. I fixed that and had a go at sewing. Everything worked, but the two loops of thread missed each other. Fortunately, at that point, M/C came back and diagnosed “bent needle” syndrome.


    A new needle was provided and Bob’s your uncle, as they say! 😀

    The lady owner came back and had a quick tutorial on old sewing machines


    and presented me with a gorgeous blue beaded butterfly she’d just made as a thank you. I came off well – M/C did the hard work and I got the present!! 😀


    Here is our final customer of the day – a lady whose partner was whittling “gypsy flowers” in a gazebo opposite our craft tent. She’s wearing one of the flowers in her hair – nice, eh! She popped over to us as we were tidying up on Sunday and presented us with one too. 😀


    Total bags made on Saturday = 25, thanks to our flying start.

    We ended the day with a pleasant stroll round most of the rally area – we even got down to the lake where a large fire pump had been working earlier. It cost over £600 when new in 1891 or 1893, so a very expensive item, but quality counts, it had been in use supplying water even when the “Big House” where it was installed was taken over by the NHS, and worked up until the mid 1950’s.


    Bagging Boconnoc part 3

    Well, who’d have thought it! Flying starts and fine weather on two days running!! The last people we spoke to on Saturday afternoon came back as soon as we opened up the “shop”, ready to sew themselves a bag each.


    Julie (in the stripey top) organised the craft tent and invited us to take part. Thank you Julie, we had a great time! She came along on Sunday afternoon and made a bag very proficiently – but then, she told me she used to be a professional machinist, so as well as looking for the foot pedal when starting to sew, she also missed the “knee lift” that operates the presser foot on industrial sewing machines. 😀



    Later that same day…… do you recognise them? I found this photo in someone else’s photostream when I searched for “Boconnoc” on

    Our son Richard came over for the day and had a good look around at all the exhibits and attractions.

    Sunday proved to be the most popular day for families to visit. We had decided beforehand that NO under 12’s could sew, 12-16 with a responsible adult present, but a few children wound the handles for their mums, grannies, aunties.

    Harry was helping to make a bag for his teacher, to be presented at the end of term next week.


    He was very good at stopping instantly he was told to – well done, Harry! 😀

    As you can see, it got pretty busy


    The lady in the foreground had the stall back to back with ours. She and her husband each made a bag. We discovered that I am half an hour older than she is – how often does one’s date of birth come up in conversation? Not often, I find, now I’m an adult (allegedly). And to find a twin? Very rare…. 😀

    Another steamy photo for you –

    Flanaghan’s were the purveyors of every kind of burger from alpaca and alligator to zebra, via kudu and ostrich. There were dozens of unfamiliar animals to sink your teeth into, allegedly……….. 😕 Richard has asked me to tell you that he wanted one of the advertised llama burgers, but they’d run out (loped off?) so he had to settle for a horse burger. I had a venison burger from the wild food stall where I bought the nettle falafels on Friday.

    We made 22 bags on Sunday, plus a half-made one by our last customer of the day. She was a young lady of 12 who sewed a lot at home, but went off to find Mum so she could sew with us on a hand-crank – a new experience, especially as the machine (85 years old and counting, been working for 3 solid days) had a hissy fit and went a bit cranky. We almost managed to finish the bag, but Mum had been watching how to do french seams and was confident that they’d be able to complete it at home, otherwise we could have put down 23 for Sunday.

    Considering how full up the craft tent had been, we didn’t have too much trouble bringing the car over, loading up with Richard’s help, and getting back to the caravan.

    Kettle on first, then I made dinner – our Sunday camping stand-by – corned beef hash. We ALWAYS used to have that on Sundays when camping or caravanning as you need a couple of potatoes and everything else is tinned, so safe to eat with no fridge. It took me right back to the days when we had a caravan full of kids – all sleeping in a row like little sardines. 😀

    A safe, quick journey home rounded off another lovely morsbagging weekend 😀


    Phew – Im exhausted just reading this !!! Brilliant pics and account. Thank you so much – must put date in diary next year as it looks a delightful place.
    Love the Frister and Rossman machine.



    Blimey! I’ll come back to you!!


    Flip flop…. That’s got to be the most detailed report of an event I’ve ever read…. Thanks for sharing, I’m pleased it went well.


    What a wonderful weekend you had and lovely people you met. Glad it went well and stayed dry for you.


    What I noticed how people are helping each other. We always say once people have made one morsbag they can teach others and become part of the growth ethos. Its all good!


    That is a brilliant report and lovely photos. Thank you so much. It was the next best thing to being able to be there with you. I especially loved the touch of the old sewing machine being brought over for attention and you two sorting it out!


    Wow, Beattie! I’m a bit late in catching up with posts, but what a great recount of an amazing couple of days… and such great photographs! Thanks for sharing 🙂


    Thank you Krisaby and Jenmeister 😀

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