Keith Tordoff: A Week In The Life

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View things through the eyes of others as they say.

This week was the Nidderdale Agricultural Show on Monday, September 25. Not being able to attend myself Kirsty stepped up to mark.

Kirsty is part of the Shepherd family who are dairy farmers in Fellbeck.

I know many will be thinking he didn’t go because it was raining for a large part of the day. I do not own a pair of Wellington’s which were certainly a requirement on the day. Right Kirsty, over to you, how did the day go....

I had already posted on the Nidderdale and Pateley Facebook pages before the show the previous year’s parade and photographs of that day. From the feedback on the Facebook I knew it was going to be popular as there had been thousands of viewings and lots of likes. The weather had not put people off as large groups were walking down the High Street to the entrances and lots of cars were queueing to go through the gates.

The fairground rides were rising high into the sky with music and screams ringing out. The public-address system was sending out messages about various judging which was taking place. The sound of the Dacre & Summerbridge Silver Band playing provided the atmosphere of a traditional country show. Bobby the police tractor was attracting young children to sit high up in its cab with its blue lights flashing and sirens sounding. The air was filled with the smell of bacon and burgers cooking making me feel very hungry. All the fun of the fair!

Being a farmer’s daughter, I was ‘surprised’ to see some animals with humps on their backs which turned out to be camels which were apparently going to race across the showground. People were wearing their country finest many sheltering under umbrellas and there were men in white coats. No they had not come to take me away - they were there to judge the various animals in their categories.

Huge marquees had tables laid out with everything from produce to cakes laid out on them. Now I am not a judge but I was impressed with the cake depicting Yorkshire Tea. I enjoyed wandering round looking at the rabbits, hens, cattle, piglets, sheep, and the various breeds of dogs (Border Collie’s are still my favourite breed of dogs!). People were buying jewellery, hand knitted socks and for others it was agricultural machinery and tractors. I wonder if the ones who bought tractors drove them home.

The time came and in the main arena camels waited until they were under starters orders. They are rather ungainly animals and their long legs seem to be working hard but not getting them very far. I am not a horse rider and it would be interesting to hear whether horse riders would fancy saddling up and taking a camel racing. They look more like a Bucking Bronco the way they throw the rider about!

I enjoyed a burger which somehow tasted wonderful possibly because I was eating it outside in the rain. Mind you that is quite normal for people who barbecue in this country in the summer as it usually starts to rain.

A large part of the show is the social element as every few steps you meet someone you know and end up talking with them. The real stars of the show on the day for me were the Harrogate Hospital Radio team who played at being a Human Fruit Machine which really brought a smile to my face and I am sure many others. Okay it rained and the ground was muddy but did you notice everyone was happy, smiling and cheerful. Many would say ‘what’s show day without a bit of rain! See you all next show day!