David and his wife Ann moved to the Algarve 2 years ago from Ramsey, UK, on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens, where they had lived for 40 years.
David worked in Civil Engineering in the design, construction, and maintenance of all types of road-works from new motorways to minor traffic calming schemes, with most of his career spent out on site.
Sport has always featured largely in his spare time, in particular badminton, rugby and cricket, and he has been known to hit golf balls but not well enough to be called a golfer.
David was also the Chairman of the Christmas Lights in Ramsey and helped to re-establish the traditional old Straw Bear Festival in the town.
History of the Straw Bear
In 1882, within the small town of Whittlesea, a newspaper reported the unusual custom of the Straw Bear Festival. Traditionally it fell on the Tuesday after Twelfth Night (following Plough Monday), of which the towns folk whom had partaken in an evening of beer, tobacco, and a hot beef supper the night before. The festival was interpreted by medieval folklorists as a ritual expulsion of winters end.
The duty of the entertaining bear fell upon some unfortunate confraternity of the plough, to “dress” him from head to foot in a straw “suit” and call him the 'Straw Bear'. The article described the bear as having lengthy straw bands, of which had been carefully selected from the best crops throughout the year, and twisted around his body, covering the arms, body, legs, and finally wound into a large cone from the bears shoulders to the top of its head. Its face was also covered with a straw mat, although today may be a mask. A heavy chain was fastened around the upper body and the straw bear was paraded throughout the streets by its keeper, and made to dance and entertain the locals with the reward of food and ale later in the evening.