The 2015 Show – Excellent attendance despite the forecast!
On the final set up day, we had glorious sunshine and an amazing sunset, with just a hint of a red sky. Show day dawned with another far more pronounced red sky. For the past week the forecasters had been predicting rain, it was forecast for Saturday but as the week progressed the rain was expected on Sunday, perhaps Monday and eventually the Met Office in their wisdom, managed to predict rain on Wednesday, our Showday. The day started well the sun quickly burnt off the mist, animals arrived, trade exhibitors put up their flags and even before opening time queues were forming at the gates. The early buses were packed full a bit like the Tokyo underground trains!!
It was all looking so good, livestock entries were well up to expectations, our K.C. Dog Show with the help of some Crufts qualifiers, broke the record set last year, the Poultry Show continues to expand. In our Horticultural Home-Handicraft section entries were excellent with the Children’s classes breaking records. There were almost 600 trade stands, if more space had been available we could have easily exceeded that number as we had over 30 on our waiting list. We have in recent years had a reputation for the excellent number of agricultural traders who exhibit and this year were very fortunate to have attracted still more, including more local machinery dealers and veterinary groups to swell the ranks. Our Food Hall was packed with speciality food providers and in the same marquee three local chefs used local produce to produce some very tasty and some very exotic dishes.
The Bolddog Lings motorcycle stunt team was the major attraction and they proved that motorcycles will fly, no matter what the weather throws at them, even their in-helmet microphones did not fail in the atrocious conditions, this was very much appreciated by the crowds lining the ring up to 6 deep. Judging heavy horse turnouts, private driving carts must be difficult with water dripping off the brass but then judging in the wet is always a nightmare and trying to read the results from books with the pages stuck together can cause headaches!
A new innovation this year was scarecrows, the trade exhibitors being challenged to produce a ‘crow that in some way reflected their business’. We admit it is an idea that we pinched from Royal Cornwall and we were amazed by the response. We had over 80 scarecrows on display from the very basic to the extremely sophisticated. Orchard Park, the local garden centre had all their staff dressed as scarecrows! We let the visitors be the judge and the winner was made mainly from scrap metal on the stand of Magna Metal Craft. The runners up were the aforementioned garden centre with a real crow and Trinity Brides, whose crow was in the all-white tradition. Thank you so much to all who must have given up so much time to create these fantastic attractions. Have a look through the gallery to see a selection of the scarecrows from the day.
Although we did not break any records we had an excellent attendance, despite the forecast! The whole day went very smoothly, just a few towing jobs for the tractor drivers, the showground stood up to the rain extremely well. The rain did benefit us in two ways, it rained off the harvest allowing more farmers to attend and it kept away those pesky wasps.
Finally we wish to thank all of our exhibitors both livestock & trade, you are the ones the visitors come to see and you were all amazing. The judges and the 250 plus volunteers, without whom the day would not have happened and the visitors, thank you all for supporting us, we look forward to seeing you all on 17th. August 2016.
For the rest of the days 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 welcome all the exhibitors, traders, sponsors, stewards and visitors who together, combine 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 17th. August 2016