Today is an important day in the social calendar of Westray. It’s the day of the 75th Annual Westray Industrial Show. Entries have already been delivered to the designated drop-off points, clearly labelled with their section number and class, with the competitor’s name inside. Judging has already taken place. It’s time to see who has won such fiercely competitive sections as ‘Fattie Cutties’, ‘Bere Bannocks’, ‘Oatcakes medium with shortening’ and ‘Potatoes, Long, Coloured’ and the all important ‘Cabbage, round’ section. There’s a lot at stake – pride as well as individual prizes for each section, with a First Prize of 60p, Second Prize of 50p and Third Prize of 40p.
Entrance is £2.50 but we are reassured that we’ll get our entrance fee’s worth at the all-you-can-eat tea. We know this, we’ve been before and Gabriel is intending to beat his Season’s Best in cake eating before the afternoon is out. (We feel he’s a little out of training to beat his Personal Best so early in the cake season.)
This year there were even more entries than last and great long tables were bursting with the best that the Island has to offer. In the nearby tea room, the same was true. Delicious salad rolls, freshly baked fancies and homebakes and tea and juice. Plus, of course, great company.
Fattie Cutties are a personal favourite and competition was particularly strong this year. All are made to the same recipe, laid out in the Prize Schedule:
3 cups plain flour
7 oz (175g) margarine
3 tblsp sugar
4 oz (100g) currants
Pinch of baking soda
Pinch of salt
A little milk
Method: Melt marg. Mix dry ingredients. Add margarine and mix with milk. Roll out on lightly floured board thinly. Cut into squares and bake on a not-too-hot griddle. Eat.
(For completion’s sake, Gabriel did achieve a Season’s Best cake record but slowed significantly in the finishing straight).