Beware lest the swan’s trumpet doth betray its tranquil plume*

The people from Stratford Walks inspired us to go to the top of the tower at the RSC, mainly because there was a great discount, and a lift to the top. The views from the top were predictably breathtaking.

The sun was determined to peek out, and when it did, it was the perfect time for a walk along the river Avon, admiring the landscape and the greedy swans.

A swan thought it would be cool to check out the Mop nearby, and had to be put back in its place.

Walking around Stratford

By which time I was chilled cold, and our only hope was to dart indoors at Dirty Duck for a pint and some food, a beef and ale pie for Souvik, a bean chili and jacket potato for me. We needed to walk off the food again, took the long way back home, via the Mop.

The Mop is an annual fair whose reputation is as old as Shakespeare’s in this region. It used to be a job fair in the old days where prospective job seekers offered their services and employers did the buying. Job hopefuls stood around with a display of their skills (maids with mops), hence the name. After the deals were done, the rest of the day was free for merriment. 2 weeks later, there’d be a smaller fair called the Runaway Mop where people who were dissatisfied with their jobs ran away for better opportunities. The hiring activities no longer exist, but the fair stuck around, and became more popular with the railroad services where more people from other villages could visit. We were amused to see how busy the fair was, with shooting targets, hooking ducks, candy floss, fortune telling, and the like. Crowds in a small town like we’ve never seen before. Poeple of all ages enjoying the rides and the music. The tantalising smell of fried onions.

Walking around Stratford Walking around Stratford Walking around Stratford Walking around Stratford

And the best attraction of them all? This old-world carousel that still looked like the prettiest ride for all ages.

Walking around Stratford

*Title credit: Souvik again. He’s been let loose.

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