Sunny skies at show

PUBLISHED: 16:05 12 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:09 15 June 2010

ONE of the major talking points of last year's show was the rain, which turned the avenues into a quagmire. The car parks turned into mud rinks and many cars had to be towed out by tractor. With this in mind, and the recent rainfall, I decided the best op

ONE of the major talking points of last year's show was the rain, which turned the avenues into a quagmire.The car parks turned into mud rinks and many cars had to be towed out by tractor.With this in mind, and the recent rainfall, I decided the best option was to go in on the free bus that links the town to the showground.I was joined by around a dozen other people on the first bus of the day and it was with the sun shining in our eyes that we headed up the High Street before turning on to the A30.There was a definite buzz on the journey to the ground with people anticipating a good show, despite some gathering cloud.A heavy shower earlier in the day had led to me to decide to wear my waterproof coat and wellies were a must with damp conditions underfoot.This was a decision I was due to regret later as the threatening clouds drifted away and the showground was bathed in sunshine.Keen to take in all the show had to offer, I headed off towards the vintage tractor area to see some of the machinery that has been so lovingly restored by enthusiasts.En-route I saw the problem caused by the recent rain, with some exhibitors vehicles in need of help to get off the greasy surface.The food tent was packed with delightful temptations but I resisted and headed off in search of the livestock pens, where the exhibitors were making their final preparations before showing off their prized sheep and cattle.Some were already in the show rings when I arrived, with the Dexter and British Simmental breeds of cattle being put through their paces before the judge's expert eyes.The beauty of the Honiton Show is that it is very much a local attraction and, being from East Devon, it did not take long to spot a few faces I knew as I headed along the wide range of stands.The organisers had planned a number of events for the Underdown Ring but with time pressing, I was only able to catch snippets of the vintage tractors and the carriage driving before I had to return to the bus for the trip back to Honiton town centre.With the sun now a steady feature of the day and hundreds of people walking along the avenues, the success of this year's event seemed assured and I headed away for another year. AS I headed back on the bus I asked some of my fellow passengers what they thought of the show.Lorraine Huxtable, who travelled down from Barnstaple for the event was not hugely impressed by what she saw.She said; "I have not been before but it was quite small and there was not much to look at."It was OK for farmers but there was not too much for the general public."She said she had gone in on the bus because she thought the field would be too muddy to drive on.She also said: "I went to the North Devon Show on Wednesday, and that seemed to be more crowded, the avenues were not as wide."This show has more space."Wendy and Robert Pattrick, who moved to Honiton four years ago and have been regular show-goers since then, said they had enjoyed it.Wendy said: "It was a good show. There seemed to be more there, this year. Certainly, more stands on the bottom field."The number of people also seemed to be up on last year."We like the country shows, particularly watching the cattle and sheep."We come every year and it is a lovely show."Robert said: "We came in on the bus because it saves worrying about parking."Last year a lot of cars got stuck and this helps to cut the traffic."It's nice that they put on a free bus."Robert Higgins, of Honiton, said: "It was a bit expensive to get in but when I came last year it was completely washed out."This year it's been much better weather."There were a few people missing, such as some estate agents, but they are all feeling the pinch."It was a good show and I like to go to see a bit of rural life, to touch the heartbeat of the west country."He said he had gone by bus because he thought the traffic would have been horrendous.He said: "It is very convenient for getting to the show. "It is very good.

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