It was twenty years and a few months ago that I stood upon a stage in Monkton Combe at the end of a fairly decent set and strapped on a borrowed Ibanez guitar to support the final few bars of "One From The Family Fruitbowl" by thrashing some basic e-shaped barre chords.
Unbeknownst to me the real guitarist in the band heard my sweaty and inaccurately fingered efforts and quietly unplugged my lead leaving my every strum mercifully inaudible to the assembled audience. I was that good. Fortunately, I was a fairly decent singer and so kept my place in the band, but I wasn't allowed anywhere near any instruments again.
But now, at last, my time has come. (Insert evil cackle effect). Albeit not with a rock band, but with those marvellous fellows and fellowesses The Wreckers Morris.
Yesterday was The Wreckers' annual Duck Race day which involves a micro-tour of the South-East Cornish coast ending up in Seaton where, after some dancing, a myriad plastic ducks are released into the river and whoever has "bought" the winning numbered duck wins a prize.
The day began at Cremyll where us Wrecked types were joined by the Plymouth Morris Men for some early dancing as the ferry plied its trade and the Sunday morning tourists mostly ignored our antics. Sadly no photos exist of this because Mrs The Millbrooker was otherwise engaged and I was playing - so the story in photos begins a bit later. Here are those shy, retiring Plymouth Morris Men as soon as they spotted a camera a bit later on.
Next was some dancing and cajoling customers into buying duck numbers at The Inn on the Shore in Downderry; then we danced at The Monkey Sanctuary near Looe but had to stop because the monkeys didn't like it.
Mrs The Millbrooker caught up with us at The Copley Arms in Hessenford where we danced and lunched.
And so - some shots of the dancing and of the new (and mostly correct-chord-playing) guitarist in action. Thanks to Mrs The Millbrooker for being camera monitor.
At The Copley Arms, Hessenford:
At The Smugglers Inn in Seaton, we discovered that the very generous mein-hosts had laid on another feast for us (two lots of chips in one day - diet? what diet?). We danced there before the Duck race itself; returning to clear the rations in fine style a wee while later.
So - to the race itself. Now do try to contain your excitement at these amazing action shots. Firstly, the ducks are ceremonially tipped into the water (from the other side of the bridge) from a dumpy bag.
Then, just like little misshapen pooh-sticks, they float serenely into view.
My gosh, but it's nail-biting stuff, isn't it?
Amanda Wrecker took a dip to make sure none of the wee blue fellows got stuck.
Whilst Mary Wrecker cheered on from the bank dressed in the only sensible way that one could possibly dress for a duck race.
I think it goes almost without saying that I, for one, had a whale of a time. And no one unplugged me. Possibly because I was playing an acoustic and am bigger than most of them.
As to the main business of the day - I have no idea who won, except for the local cancer related charities for whom this was a fund raiser; I believe something around £1000 will very shortly be in their bank accounts. Huzzah!