Friday, October 8, 2010

The Bathurst Show

This posting is ostensibly about a visit to the Bathurst Agricultural Show, but for me it is really about divorce. I don't know how I managed to even have my wits about me to do any drawings when I made the trip with my news editor on the Evening Post sometime in early 1986 to Bathurst, inland of Port Alfred, for the show. Cliff Foster and his wife were my companions after my wife of three years declined an invitation to join us. It was then that I discovered our relationship was over and, sparing the gory details, the divorce went through a few months later. Anyway, much beer was drunk as sorrows were drowned in the great watering hole that is Bathurst, home to one of South Africa's oldest pubs, the Pig 'n Whistle (1832).

The safari suit used to be much in vogue in SA, as demonstrated by this guy, probably a farmer, at the Bathurst Show.

There seemed to be a well-fed beefiness about many of the visitors to the show, set in the heartland of "Settler country", where many families are still descendants of the original 5000 British settlers who arrived in Algoa Bay in 1820 - and helped shape a nation.

Another of the characters spotted at the show.

And yet another.

This is my then news editor, Cliff Foster, a British expat who has subsequently returned with wife Dorothy to, I think, Norfolk.

Not sure what the shape on the left is, but this guy is soaking up the sun at an outdoor table in the beer garden.

Two kids spotted among the adults.

I like the fact that this drawing of a child is unfinished. Notice how his right arm is distorted, yet it still works.

I kept my drawings from show in a folder made from this information brochure about the Bathurst Museum. It provides some fascinating information.

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