Cheshire Show hits records with credit crunch busting show
Record numbers of visitors, animal entries, and cheese exhibits all made the two day Show, on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23 and 24, one of the most successful for many years.
Over both days more than 80,000 people attended the show at the Tabley Showground, near Knutsford, and against the tradition of the first day being more popular visitor numbers soared significantly on the second day for the first time.
The true stars of the Show, the animals, also came in their thousands with record numbers of cattle entries hitting more than 700. Special guest at the Cheshire Show, Prof David Bellamy, came for his third year – proving his passion for the county and its cheese!
“The weather and the farmers put on the greatest show I have seen. Coming here is a big kick back to reality that we have such a wonderful county called Cheshire. These fields are where farming started, it’s still thriving and heading for sustainability,” said David
He added: “The strength of the farming community here at the Show has shown that if given the go ahead farmers can feed Britain extremely well and that is excellent news in the days of the credit crunch.”
Whilst at the Show David proved his popularity amongst visitors as he enjoyed the sights and flavours of the Show. He indulged in his passion for Cheshire cheese in the Roberts Bakery Food Hall by creating the ‘ultimate’ Cheshire sandwich using cheese from Malpas-based creamery Reece’s, Cheshire bacon, home made tomato relish and lettuce – all sandwiched into Roberts Bakery’s new seeded farmhouse bread.
Also visiting the Show was star of BBC’s Victorian Farm, Alex Langlands, who donned his Victorian outfit to turn his hand to rural activities such as coracle sailing, wood turning, dry stone walling, thatching and hedge laying, in the Countryside Experience, which was launched this year.
Alex said: “I am in my element at the Cheshire Show. It is a fantastic mixture of educational activities and entertainment for the agricultural community and the whole family.”
As crowds sampled the delectable treats in the Roberts Bakery Food Hall, visitors also learnt where their food came from in the Agri Centre, which demonstrates the food journey ‘From Plough to Plate’. Farmers and farming businesses demonstrated Cheshire’s thriving food production chain by giving milking, cheese making and butchery demonstrations in the Agri Centre.
Alex Langlands added: “I am particularly impressed with the Agri Centre and the theme of ‘From Plough to Plate’, which makes a critical link between the farmers and the wider community. Supporting the farmers means they can afford to take better care of their livestock and the environment.”
Cheshire’s renowned cheese was a focal point of the Cheshire Show in the cheese marquee, which had record numbers of entries 20 per cent more than last year. Guest judge Sean Wilson, well known for his role as Martin Platt in Coronation Street, was judging cheese classes on the first day of the show.
“I am opening a cheese company in September and really looking forward to it. I was asked to judge at the Show and couldn’t say no because cheese is my passion now.”
Organisers and volunteers worked especially hard this year to give visitors an action packed, value for money show and people came in their thousands to soak up the feel-good atmosphere of one of the country’s leading agricultural shows.
Chairman of the Cheshire Agricultural Society Tony Garnett said: “We have been delighted with the numbers of livestock entries and the support of so many people in helping the Cheshire Show excel as one of the country’s leading agricultural shows.
“It has been a fantastic year for the Show and we appreciate that in these difficult times for both farmers and public alike, people have shown so much support and commitment to the Cheshire Show.”
Throngs of people basked in the glorious sunshine around the Main Ring absorbing the exciting atmosphere and watching the thrilling attractions. Action packed displays from daredevil quad biker Jason Smyth and his Adrenaline Tour, and high flying displays from Gauntlet Bird of Prey, with its magnificent vultures, eagles and owls, parades of hounds, displays from Cheshire Polo Club and many more attractions mesmerised visitors of all ages.
Executive director of the Show Nigel Evans said: “This year’s show has been the best for a number of years for crowd attendance, weather and variety of attractions.
“Pre show ticket sales were the best I have seen – hitting record numbers. Ticket sales on the gate were well up on last year.
“There has been an excellent positive buzz around the showground amongst visitors and exhibitors, which proves despite current conditions people want to come top an event like the Cheshire Show and appreciate the county’s rich heritage, agricultural success and entrepreneurial talents.
“It is thanks to the support of volunteers, exhibitors and visitors that the show is as successful as it is, so a big thank you goes to everyone for their efforts.”
The 2010 Cheshire County Show will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 22 and 23. For more information visit www.cheshirecountyshow.org.uk
Photography by Jonathan Farber – www.farber.co.uk
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