Another great year for the Cheshire County Show
ORGANISERS of this year’s Cheshire County Show believe more than 40,000 visitors attended the first day of the agricultural event.
Morning ticket sales on the gates were up 10% on last year and thousands of people had pre-booked their entry onto the Tabley showground near Knutsford, Cheshire.
“Although the weather was showery in the morning people have been out here in great spirits” said Nigel Evans, Executive Director of the Cheshire County Show.
“Numbers of exhibitors and visitors are swelling. It is a showcase for the county and I think people recognise that and are hugely supportive.”
Despite a dreary weather forecast, the rain held off for most of the day and visitors actually spent much of the time with the sun on their backs. Drawing in the crowds was the promise of an exciting day full of death-defying stunts, famous faces and a celebration of all that is great and good about farming in Cheshire.
Among those meeting and greeting was Charlie Lawson – formerly Jim McDonald in Coronation Street – who now runs his own farm shop selling quality produce. He counts Manchester United stars amongst his customers, but was taking time out of his busy schedule to meet visitors and discuss his journey from The Street to ‘the store’.
“It has been every bit as good as my last visit. I am delighted to support agriculture and the countryside in Cheshire,” he said.
Fellow ex-Corrie star Sean Wilson, who starred as Martin Platt for 20 years in the popular soap, has established Saddleworth Cheese Company. He was at the show to talk about his latest handmade cheeses in the Roberts Bakery Food Hall. Sean said: “It is always a fantastic atmosphere here. We have been coming for a few years and there is a genuine interest in cheese and local produce.”
Fromage was a theme for this year’s show with a campaign launched to halt the decline of Cheshire Cheese.
The extensive cheese section at the major two-day public event has launched a bid – backed by Hill Valley Spa, Hotel and Golf together with Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa – to turn around the fortunes of Cheshire Cheese in the face of a stark fall in production.
Also keeping the crowds entertained was the motorcycle stunt team the Bolddog Lings, which was back by public demand. The show held a public vote to see whether the stuntmen should be invited back and an overwhelming majority of the public said ‘yes’.
The real stars of the show, however, were the hundreds of livestock and other animals that came from all over the country to compete for the coveted titles.
Some of the competition highlights were the cattle, light horse and dog shows which all saw a massive number of entries with some of the finest animals in the country.
One of the main aims of the show is to bring the farming community and the general public closer together and the Sainsbury’s Agri Centre helped to do just that by giving people of all ages the chance to meet farmers and see animals up close.
Sponsored by leading supermarket Sainsbury’s for the second year, one of the key aims of the Agri-Centre was also to educate the public on where their food comes from and the journey it takes from ‘plough to plate’.
The public could also try a range of other countryside pursuits such as clay shooting, archery and even duck herding in the ‘Countryside Experience’ area, which has now been part of the show for four years.
Tony Garnett, Chairman of the Cheshire County Show, said: “Attendance is increasing – it is a show that is bulging at the seams! All the support from exhibitors and visitors really cements the show as one of the highlights of the agricultural calendar.”
Submitted by Hayley Coleman