Cakes, sheep and ceilidh at Arlington Court

SHEEP, tree surgeons and a 130-year-old recipe for raspberry sandwich cake will be among the ingredients for the popular Country Skills Day, returning to Arlington Court on Friday of next week (June 26.) The traditional skills of yesteryear will be celebr

SHEEP, tree surgeons and a 130-year-old recipe for raspberry sandwich cake will be among the ingredients for the popular Country Skills Day, returning to Arlington Court on Friday of next week (June 26.)

The traditional skills of yesteryear will be celebrated with some new displays and features at the event this year, including a tree-top rescue with local tree surgeons, stone-carving, gate hurdle making, leather work and a baking competition featuring a not-so-new recipe from 1876.

It will go on into the evening this year, with a Ceilidh by the Oggle Band, supported by the Folk Orchestra of North Devon. Both events are part of the North Devon Festival.

The usual favourites will be returning, of course, including the entertaining sheep shearing demonstration, spinning from the North Devon Spinners, a craft and produce tent and sheep herding displays with David Kennard and his celebrity sheepdog Swift.


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Visitors will also be able to see what is growing in the fully restored walled kitchen garden, which now has new bee-hives and some other spiky residents! The property is about to take delivery of two orphan hedgehogs that will be in charge of eating any slugs daring to threaten the lettuces!

The historic cake baking competition is based on a recipe taken from a book owned by the National Trust property and handwritten by a cook in 1876. The event will be judged on the best interpretation of the recipe.

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To enter the competition, contact Arlington on (01271) 850296. Entry forms must be returned by Friday, June 20.

The entry fee is �1 (which will go towards the upkeep of the property) to be paid on the day. The event tent will be open from 11am, and all cakes must be in place by 11.30. Judging will take place at 1pm.

The Ceilidh begins at 7pm when 30 members of the Folk Orchestra of North Devon will pick up their instruments to entertain guests munching on Arlington's lamb burgers and quaffing Devon-made cider and then at 8pm the main show starts with The Oggle Band.

All this will be in a large marquee on the lawn in front of the grand house. Tickets, which include a burger and a glass of cider or apple juice, are �12.50 and it is strongly recommend that you book in advance by calling (01271) 850296.

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