In my occasional quest to explore the weird and wonderful world of 21st century life in Britain I found myself at the Scone Game Fair on a ludicrously hot day in July.
It is a strange place where people will wear three-piece tweed suits and leather boots in the middle of July. Where people who would never leave a dog in a hot car will happily take dogs into a place with lots of people, loud noises and little shade. Where people casually carry guns around and the police don’t show any interest. This is not an urban area.
They will happily hand over a shotgun to people without requiring a Disclosure Scotland form to be completed or even a quick phone call to the Chief Constable of the local constabulary.
Will such a position be possible in future under the commissars of the Gendarmerie nationale of Scotland? Only time will tell…
The most interesting thing about the game fair was that it wasn’t full of landed gentry stereotypes. There was a huge mix of people from agricultural workers through urban arrivistes to, I’m sure, actual Lords and Ladies. All out for a fun social afternoon (and maybe to buy a new shotgun or tractor).
There was some expected but quite dull stuff like fishing demonstrations to the strange, for this urban dweller, gun dog trials.
The one absolutely indisputable thing was that the food on offer was spectacular.
Especially the Arbroath Smokies, freshly smoked on site.
One of the finest foodstuffs known to man.
I was really quite surprised by the game fair. It was in parts ridiculous country stereotype, trade show and fun day out. If you want to buy a nice tweed ensemble, a new shotgun or some dry-stone walling there can be no finer place. And if you only want to have a go at clay-pigeon shooting or archery and have some nice food then it’s pretty good too. An interesting way to spend an afternoon, I’ll visit again.