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Finding a gateway before the show starts.

A large part of Country Mouse is trading at shows and events across the South West and on occasion we venture further than the west country. I'll take my van and gazebo and I will set up Country Mouse at an agricultural show or a Royal show and run my mobile shop from there. In the winter, there aren’t so many shows, so I have been known to trade at events such as team chases for a short day’s winter trading. Now this is where things can get quite interesting, because to trade at some of these small events, you need to set out early, often in the dark, following a Sat Nav which is set to the nearest postcode of the event. This may often be the farmer’s postcode, rather than the actual location of the field itself.

You have arrived at your destination.

The final mile into the location, early in the morning before the show signs have been put out can be quite interesting. I’m often left on an A road, after Sally the Sat Nav says “you have arrived at your destination” – wondering quite where I have arrived.

Trade show tactics.

I have developed some tactics to help pick up – where Sally Sat Nav leaves off. The first, is to look for a big white tent on top of a hill. That is a dead giveaway, although you may still not find the actual field entrance. My other tactic is not to put my absolute blind trust in my Sat Nav. I don’t know if its just my Sat Nav and the age it is, but Sally Sat Nav can’t be trusted to not take you down a green lane to get you into a field. Now as intrepid as my little van is, Betty, as she’s known, is no 4 X 4.

10 for a square halt.

Which brings me to another memorable moment, that even having found a show ground, finding my pitch and getting to it with all the other traders around can also be just as challenging. On one visit to Chatsworth Horse Trials – I arrived to see the access to my pitch blocked by other vans. I skirted around the back of some trade stands, drove through what looked like a purpose made gap, with a bit of speed on, to make sure I didn’t get stuck in the mud, only to find myself making a grand entrance to the main show jumping arena. It may come as no surprise to you that Betty managed to perform a full square halt. I then reined her back and quickly exited the arena the same way I entered.

We certainly have some fun finding gateways and pitches for Country Mouse.

Leave a comment below if your Sat Nav has ever left you dangling in a funny location.

To avoid the mud, you can always shop Country Mouse online.

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