Thursday, 15 September 2011

Clovelly Highlights. Shimmering Lobsters and Sea Shanties

The crowds turned out for Clovelly’s annual Lobster and Crab Fest on the 4th September. A continuous stream of folk, young and not so young made the steep and winding walk down the wonky cobbles to the Quay. At journey’s end the reward was Clovelly Harbour, a stunning sight, especially at high tide. Shimmering water under  blue skies, bobbing boats and the Clovelly lifeboat whizzing to and fro.  The old cobbled Quay was lined with the colourful awnings of craft and food stalls and the aroma of sizzling seafood fritters and stir fry filled the air. Delicious cupcakes and all manner of local produce and products were on display, including those famous Clovelly lobsters and crabs. It was especially nice for the children to see the huge wriggling lobsters up close. Craft stalls were bedecked with colourful mosaics, fun t-shirts, hand-made patchwork and haberdashery, knitting yarns, recycled metal jewellery, local art and photographic gifts. There was even a wool spinning demonstration. Happy families with excited children took part in various fun activities including face painting, storytelling, balloon modelling, street theatre and still found time to greet the arrival of the resident donkeys. Bellowing above the buzz of the crowd some harmonious, fiddle-playing, folk singers took centre stage belting out sea shanties by the old lime kiln, which had been taken over by the North Devon ANOB for more kids’event-themed craft activities. The Lobster and Crab Fest was organised in support of the National Lobster Hatchery who brought along a tank of baby lobsters. Their bright red, white and blue stall was at the end of the Quay. You could sponsor your own teeny lobsters before they were released into a slightly bigger tank, Bideford Bay beyond the harbour.  Also shimmering along the bumpy quayside was one giant “Lobster”. Drawing oohs and ahs from astonished children and adults, the very brave stilt walker stopped to pose for photos then carried on with confidence and without incident.  The Red Lion, of course, did a roaring trade, the never-ending queue stretching from the bar and out the door where the beer and wine tasting stall was conveniently situated. I have never seen Clovelly quite so crowded but people waited patiently and with good spirits. The sunny weather held until mid-afternoon, then rain literally stopped play and everyone ran for cover including the band who decided it was much safer to head for the cosy Red Lion Hotel bar! Article and photos by P. Adams


The Lobster and Crab Fest is just one of many events held at Clovelly throughout the year. There is a landrover service which will take you “Up Along” or “Down Along” or you can stay in one of the two hotels, the New Inn at the top or the Red Lion. For more information visit - What's On Clovelly, latest news and events - History of Clovelly Lifeboat
For information about the Padstow based National Lobster Hatchery
Explore Clovelly with the North Devon Focus Picture Tour

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