Mrs Angela Dick with the winning Rare Breed Primitive Male
Bilsdale Show Success in the Rain
Summer 2012 will be remembered for rain, rain and more rain with many country events either being cancelled or severely disrupted, but nothing could prevent the local community from enjoying Bilsdale Agricultural Show last Saturday.
A fine morning helped the show get off to a good start. A very high standard and wide variety of produce, fur & feather and craft exhibits made judges task all the more difficult. The childrens' classes included contemporary themes around the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. The winners' rosettes and certificates were hardly on display when the inevitable cloudburst came to disrupt proceedings.
Despite that there were still plenty of smiling faces and both competitors and spectators alike simply carried on in the Bilsdale tradition.
If there had been bravery awards they would no doubt have given to young riders, Sophie Webber, K Parfitt and A Becker, all of who competed in the pony classes during the horrendous downpour.
"To start with the weather was quite nice but the heavy shower around lunch time put a dampener on proceedings and kept the large crowds away.” said Mrs Ruby Garbutt, Chair of the Show Committee “However, things went very well and everyone who was there enjoyed the day.” she added.
The local supporters and organisers were certainly geared up. Many arrived with rain wear, umbrellas and wellington boots at the ready, determined that nothing was going to spoil their day. The organisers had also arranged for tractor assistance with the late exodus from the car park. Even some of the animals were protected from the worst downpours by strategically placed 'sheep' umbrellas.
At the traditional lunchtime gathering, Chair Ruby Garbutt welcomed guests to the102nd Bilsdale Show and the Honourable James Saville, Show President addressed the audience which included the Earl & Countess of Mexborough, guests and officials. “What makes this event so special is that it is a proper agricultural show in a very traditional sense, set up and run by the local community for the local community.” He remarked. He then went on to say “This is a year where the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee showed the true British spirit, which has clearly not been lost and this show demonstrates it in full!” Chair Ruby Garbutt thanked the audience and praised the community spirit. “It's a very nice community so thank you Team Bilsdale” she concluded.
Beef Shorthorn Champion was Albion Jilt Emilia, a 15 month old roan coloured heifer owned by Paul Braithwaite from Stokesley whilst Breck House Enterprises went away with many of the awards in the sheep classes.
There was a magnificent trophy donated by the Cook family in memory of the late George Cook, a past Master of the Bilsdale Farmers Hunt, for the overall winners of the newly introduced Hunt Hounds Competition. Raider and Ragnar two young pups owned by the Bilsdale Hunt competed for both 'last year's pups ' and 'un-entered foxhound dogs' awards, representing a new era after the recent unification of the two separate Bilsdale Hunts and the hounds now housed back in Bilsdale. There was perhaps a poignant moment for local Hunt followers when the judging took place against the sedate background tones of the Bilsdale Silver Band. The eventual winners of the George Cook Memorial Trophy were the Saltersgate Farmers Hunt from the area around the Hole of Horcum.
The afternoon was completed with a full package of family fun and games.
The 'Bygone Bilsdale' exhibition arranged by the Bilsdale Study Group was a particular point of interest for many of the locals and gave an opportunity for reminiscing. The displays included a number of old photographs of Chop Gate Village. There was also a role call of licensees and owners of the Village pub dating back to the eighteen hundreds.
Onlookers were entertained with sheep shearing demonstrations, a bee keeping display and static exhibits of vintage machinery. Children had an opportunity learn archery skills and compete in traditional family sports.
The terrier racing was a particular favourite with many of the participants displaying the usual mischievous terrier traits which had the crowd in stitches as officials often tried in vain to form an orderly start to the races.
A traditional Yorkshire Quoits competition attracted a large number of entrants on the day. The knockout tournament was won by S Sanderson from runner up Bob Gibson.
Several years of poor summer weather are having an effect on the financial sustainability of small country agricultural shows in general. Bilsdale Show is no exception but with the support of the wider community it will survive. Many of the smaller community groups and individuals are contributing through fund-raising events and donations. The final word must go to Ruby Garbutt who said “We owe a big thank you to the local community for supporting us so well, particularly over the last two years which have been made difficult by adverse weather.” The show will go on, next year's show is already scheduled for Saturday 31st August 2013.