The competition is run as two teams, picked at random with half working with the Chairman and the other half working with the President.
Phil had added everyone’s name to a selection of beer mats (no idea what the significance of that was, I guess he's just been busy in the Pub or something)
Phil picked the closest section of hedge, which was significantly lighter than the section Peters team were left with, it's almost like Phil knew something. We had about 11yards each and after taking tools, stakes and binders to our sections we could see what we were up against.
I was at the far end with Mike, Tom, Frank, and David, and we had some chunky monkeys to work with.
The hedge was on the side of a ditch and was very gappy, where there were stems they were very brittle and knotted together, and also very one sided, with the bulk of the weight overhanging the ditch.
There was a lot of chainsaw work, which was good as we needed it, the old blackthorn is tough as old nails. Without some good sharp tools you would have bounced off the armour plated bark.
I don’t think anyone managed to complete their section without breaking one or two pleachers, especially when laying in as it was so brittle.
The landowner Ed invited his friends, family, and neighbours along to watch, and help out with tea and later the bbq.
With about an hour to go Phil's team had pretty much finished, but most of Peters team were still busy cutting.
The 5hr bell seemed to go off far to soon, but we were glad to stop for lunch.
Ed put on a great bbq, with home reared burgers and sausages which were superb and plentiful, most people went back for seconds, and a few managed thirds. Someone had also been busy in the kitchen making brilliant cakes.
After our very hearty lunch Ed announced that Chairman Phil's team had one the competition and took away the impressive wood plate.
After a few pictures of the teams and a last bit of cake (I don't think there was any cake left by the time we left) we returned to finish binding (and some pleaching for Mike and Tom who both had very tough sections and tackled them with hand tools.) and had a final tidy up.
Below a small sample of pictures, many more on https://www.flickr.com/groups/sehls/pool/ please add any you have!