It was the best ever SHOW!
The 2016 Gillingham & Shaftesbury Agricultural Show, most certainly was the very best Show in living memory. We had a record turnout of visitors who all seemed to have enjoyed a beautiful sunny day in the glorious Dorset countryside. The highlight of the show and the biggest crowd puller was the Diggerland Dancing Digger Stunt Team, which filled the ring with power, noise and action and they very kindly stepped in with a third performance to fill a gap left when another display pulled out. Other attractions in the main ring, included the Shetland Pony Grand Prix, the Massed Parade of Hounds & Beagles, the Hunting Horn contest and displays of modern farm machinery by C & O Tractors with the latest power machine from New Holland & Redlynch Agricultural Engineering who wrapped bales on pink. In the Turnpike Ring, countryside sports included ferret and terrier racing, birds of prey, sheep dogs and the dog & duck display in a packed programme of exciting entertainment.
With over 520 trade stand exhibitors there was an enormous choice available to visitors from the cradle to the grave, from schools & further education to fitness and medical advice, home improvement to cars, trucks & 4×4’s, handicrafts & gifts to food glorious food to eat in or take home, plus of course over 100 stands of tractors, machinery and farming suppliers. Most competitive sections include cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, rabbits, homecrafts, handicrafts, art and a huge range of classes for younger exhibitors, all had huge entries. Unfortunately because of a virulent virus the Rabbit section was cancelled.
Agriculture, farming and rural activities have always been at the very heart of our show and visitors were able to watch the finest cattle & sheep being paraded and judged. Our new Farm, Food & Fun – Education Area demonstrated how milk, meat and grain are produced on local farms and how it eventually reaches your table. In the Harts of Stur Food Hall there were over fifty producers of the finest quality food and drink, including a gluten free bakery specialist, local wines and cheeses, speciality Greek food providers, hot pies to be nibbled beer to be drunk along with a huge range of ready to eat foods.
Without a doubt the 2016 Show will go down in our records as the most successful event in living memory. Was it the Dancing Diggers, which cost far more than any of the regular attractions or was it the accurate weather predictions that drew the enormous crowd? We shall probably never know. What we do know is that we had more visitors through the gate, so that’s the first record. We had so many entries in one sheep class it had to be split, entries in the ridden equine classes were exceptional, several breed sections in the beef cattle classes set new benchmarks and after creating a large area for new trade stand space, applications again exceeded demand. Like Team GB at the Olympic Games, it’s records & gold medals all round.
We look forward to doing it all again on Wednesday 16th. August 2017. Hope to see you there!
To see last years’ photos head to the Gallery here
Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show – A thank you from the organiser
On behalf of the organising committee I would like to thank all the exhibitors, traders, sponsors, stewards and visitors who together, combined to make this one of the best and most successful, traditional one day agricultural shows in the country. We are extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful people who give their time to help organise and run the Show. There is a dedicated ‘gang’ who are on hand all the year round to maintain and improve the ground and what a wonderful job they have done to restore the fields.
There is a much larger team who turn out in the weeks preceding and immediately after the Show, to set up all the rings and animal penning, mark out the 500 plus trade stand sites, put up all the signs, set out the tables and display boards and all the one hundred and one jobs that need to be done to make the show tick. Then with many others they steward on show day, there are about 250 needed to ensure the classes, traffic and displays all run smoothly and afterwards there are three days of intensive clearing up, packing away and the final litter pick all done by willing volunteers.
We are also very grateful for all the help that we receive from local groups, carnival clubs, Scouts, Rotary & Lions Clubs and the many companies and individuals who help or provide us with equipment.
Thank you all so very much and we look forward to seeing everyone again on Wednesday 16th. August 2017