The rain stopped finally and we headed a few short miles to the hills for a lovely afternoon at a local agricultural show. If it was just me I'd have spent all day here from the crack of dawn, taking in the preparations, the atmosphere and the characters around. Why there's never been a documentary series about show days I don't know.
The Manifold Show is a small, traditional event with all the usual classes for cattle, sheep, horses, poultry. What it has less of are the commercial stands (aside from farm equipment and country clothing) that can dominate at the big shows. Right on top of the hills above Dovedale, under a lowering sky, we bought plants, ate ice cream and watched the skills of stockmen, riders & drivers and keepers.
The Handicrafts tent is always a favourite of mine. The place where you find the skills of growers, bakers, makers and children too, with cups to be won for everything from "My favourite salad" to enormous veg, flower arrangements and cakes .
Being new hen keepers we all loved the Poultry Club tent. All sorts of fancy hens, ducks and doves plus giant rabbits, funny ferrets and sweet little guinea pigs.
Around the show ring is where you find the real farming folk with their magnificent beasts. There were some jolly lunch parties going on in the backs of trailers, complete with stoves, picnic chairs and tea urns while the cattle and sheep in their rosettes munched theirs
Years ago I used to ride and read all those horsey novels written in the 50s about gymkhanas. These scenes bring all those books back to me. Woody and the boys don't get it at all but I really enjoy watching a bit of showing and showjumping, even though I was never any good at it!
There's a real tradition of showing Shire Horses around these parts and there were lots here. They're magnificent; I think these chaps probably deserve their ice cream.
A really lovely outing despite the grey sky. Hopeless for pictures but thankfully it wasn't raining and we got to enjoy the highlight of the farming season. Looking forward to next year.
P.S Thank you for all the fabulous comments I've been left recently, especially in light of the riots in England this past week. Its disturbing and embarrassing to know how shocked people across the world have been. Thanks for all your thoughts. But seeing the fantastic community spirit that's emerged across the country is really heartening, so there's hope at least.
oh, I had completely forgotten about Manifold Show and went walking instead, doh!
Oh well, it's nothing new and there's always next year! I have enjoyed seeing your photos at least!
SNAP! I have just posted about the Halifax Agricultural Show today! we missed the horses so it was nice to see your photos.
Yes! a documentary would be just the thing!
I especially appreciate the peek inside the poultry tent! Thanks for sharing!
Eee, that looks like a grand day out! Love the picture of all those eggs :o)
What a wonderful day. I'm really looking forward to my little girl reading pony books, great excuse to revisit my childhood!
wow! steph you have captured 'show day' with such atmospheric shots of all that went on...Love the ducks and chickens!...I wonder to why they dont do a documentary on 'show day' too- wouldnt that be fabulous!- i remember they did a series a while back on allotments and the people and patches of veg n flowers- right up until the harvest of the end of summer- i really enjoyed that think it was a bbc 4 thingy...
thanks for sharing steph...
p.s The weather looks like Devon- its very cloudy and drizzly here ;0)x
This reminds me of "All Creatures Great and Small" - you know, the one when JH is roped into being the resident vet for the events. Actually, so many good British series have this scene in it, don't they? Now, I'm thinking of Jeeves and Wooster. We have county fairs but it's just not quite the same 'quaint' tradition (I hope that that word is alright to use.)
Very fun and I can't wait to show this to my husband.=]
Lovely photo's I think they capture the day brilliantly. I felt like I was really there. We have a big show down here in the west the Bath and west show but it has became so commercialized it doesn't have that old world feel anymore.
Looks like a great day out.
Looks like great day, you've really captured the essence of it in your photos. I'd love to go along to a show, must find one nearby sometime. K xx
Our village show is on Bank Holiday Monday. We don't have livestock, but there will be giant vegetables and dahlias to die for. I'm going to have a go at photographing the highlights, but I don't think the results will be as glorious as yours....
It is a country fair! I have enjoyed them here in the mountains also - they are just the best.
I,m spanish, and one day finding something to read about the english countryside I found your blog by casuality. I love your blog. Your countryside it,s quite similar to mine. I live in the north of Spain, where all is green. But you give me peace, your photos, your words...
Thanks, and excuse my english
I still have my pony books, would never part with them, must go get them and read them again. Wonderful day out, I too love the chickens and all the eggs.
I love all of those photos being presented. They all showed how fun and beautiful that day was.
Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons
I really need to take the boys to an Agricultural fair one day. Its such an experience that every child she be a part of, see how their food is created, how hard the farmers work etc!
Your pics bring the show to life, love it!
Ive been watching your blog and found it very interesying .
Love the poultry pics, in particular! And your perfect show-going skirt & welly combo! x
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