Thousands visited Honiton Show

PUBLISHED: 15:12 12 August 2009 | UPDATED: 23:57 15 June 2010

A sheep class is judged at Honiton Show. Ref: P0787-32-09AW

A sheep class is judged at Honiton Show. Ref: P0787-32-09AW

MORE than 18,000 people turned out for the Honiton and District Agricultural Association Show last week. Organisers said people had travelled from as far as the Lake District and Scotland to visit one of the largest one-day shows of its kind in the country

MORE than 18,000 people turned out for the Honiton and District Agricultural Association Show last week.

Organisers said people had travelled from as far as the Lake District and Scotland to visit one of the largest one-day shows of its kind in the country.

The event showcases the best of local farming, crafts and rural skills, with around 1,500 livestock entries.

Marcelle O'Grady, one of the show's organisers, said: "After quite a difficult build up with the weather, the brilliant team got it all together.

"I think everybody is appreciative that it was on and I think it was an excellent show."

She said money raised from the show would be donated to local groups, such as the Young Farmers' groups, lifeboats and Girl Guides.

Visitors to the show included regulars and newcomers, young and old, and farmers and those who were simply curious.

Nicola said: "I really enjoy the show. I like all the different things that take place, the different animals - and the horses and funfair is probably my favourite."

Kaye Rudkin and 10-year-old son Charlie visited from Forde Abbey.

Kaye, whose husband is a game keeper, said: "I like everything to do with farming and the food is all local products."

Charlie added: "I liked the animals. I had been before, a long time ago, and I will come again."

Betty Armour, from Crewkerne, said it had been her first time at the show. She said: "I visited the Axminster show, which I preferred because it was more about healing, therapy and crafts. But this is agricultural and you have to separate the two.

"I've enjoyed the day - paddling about. The weather never put me off - it's about being prepared."

Former Honiton residents Philip Birkhead and Nicola Skillcorn, who now live in Exmouth, enjoyed returning to the show after a break. Philip, who had not been for around 10 years, said: "Nicola wanted to go and dragged me along! But it's quite interesting to look around."

One couple, who did not wish to be named, were visiting from London and said they wished it had been better advertised - as they had seen it passing by, and had been wearing flip flops.

Michael Rose, of the Devon Pension Action Forum, said: "It's been going quite well and there's been quite a lot of interest.

"It's pretty chaotic and muddy. They got the forecast completely wrong - they thought it was going to be a day like yesterday (dry weather)."

Howard Davies, from Cardiff, whose daughter and son-in-law, Nicola and Sean Perrett, are based in Feniton, visits most years.

He said: "I enjoyed it, but it's a bit muddy. I have been here a few times and travel especially for it each year.

"I like the country shows in general and hope I will be coming back next year."

Rachael and Michael Tipton, and eight-year-old daughter Emma, from Talaton, have been visiting the show for the last three years.

Rachael said: "We've just been mooching around, watching everybody - and the young farmers' tent was fun."

Emma added: "The best thing is the food. I've had some ice-cream and now I'll have some ginger bread."

Culmstock family Merle, Bryn and Jessica, aged five, visited with their daughter's friend, Jessica, aged six.

Bryn said: "There's been plenty to see. We're making a full day of it and the children love it."

Wendy Sibley, of Ashton Saddlery, Combe Raleigh, said business had been good at her stall, with a steady stream of shoppers.

She said: "I've been here since 7.30am and will stay until closing time, around 5.30pm to 6pm. It's been going really well and there's been a lot of interest."

Jim Cobley, volunteer for ShelterBox with the Rotary Club of the Otter Valley, said it had been a successful fundraising event.

He said: "We've been giving away wrist bands - with people making a small donation if possible. We've given out £1,000 and think we'll have raised a lot of money."

Former Exeter City Football Club player Steve Flack, of Honiton, fell victim to the muddy ground. His Land Rover Experience ride, with sons Liam, 11, and Ryan, eight, was cut short because of the weather, and he slipped and fell in the mud on the walk back.

His children laughed, muttering 'mom's going to kill you.' Steve said he had worn his mucker boots, but it had provided him with enough protection.

He said of the show: "It's local and I have always been in and around the country lifestyle and it's nice to come and support it."

Liam added: "The Land Rover ride was really fun, but the highlight was watching dad fall in the mud.


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