Donkey Derby At Wiveliscombe - a Memory of Wiveliscombe.

Here is another tale of recollection of the Wiveliscombe Donkey Derby.
In November 1967 we had moved from the New Forest to Uppingtons, 6 High Street Wiveliscombe, a strange 3 floored Georgian house that sat between the Chemist and the cake shop/restaurant ran by Mr Rates.
Wivey was a thriving little town, little had changed since spending my holidays at Waterrow as a young boy although the railway station had now closed and the markets were becoming a little less frequent.
In 1968 I was approaching my twelfth birthday.
I attended Kingsmead School, my friends many of which were sons of local farmers, would have to work Bank Holidays. In 1968 I had joined the Wivey Choir, don't asked me why, I think it was a brain wave my dad had at the time. Mr Berry was the organist and the rector was Rev Bentley who had a lovely daughter. The was a youth club which was great fun. Bank holidays were spent at the Reck, the Recreational Grounds, where they held a Donkey Derby on the bank holiday weekend. This annual event raised much needed funds for the Wivey Colts, the youngest squad of the Wivey rugby team. I don't know where the donkeys came from? Weston Super Mare maybe? The Tote was organised by the committee of WC. Colin Walker, Denny Harris and Derek Hood supplied the PA. The man on the mic was Peter Banks later a landlord of the Globe Inn at Milverton. I used to select and play the interlude music between races. I got my first taste of wanting to be a DJ at the time, Later in early seventies I ran my own disco, I did local radio and ran a mobile disco. I used to travel around in an ex-Gas-Board Bedford CA van, red in colour affectionately called Ruby.
The Donkey Derby was a great success up to the mid 1970s. Long before H & S we had none of this health and safety nonsense, if a kid fell off, you'd just stick him back on and chase the blighter past the winning post. If any one has any photos 1967- 1975 I would love to see them email

A memory shared by Julian Bishop on Nov 19th, 2011. Send Julian Bishop a message

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