Thousands flocked to this year’s Nidderdale Show to honour an agricultural tradition that has become “a way of life” for so many.
Held in the picturesque surroundings of Pateley Bridge’s Bewerley Park on Monday, the show boasted a feast of attractions and competitions, which included everything from terrier racing and speed shearing, to dry stone walling and show jumping. Organised by The Nidderdale Agricultural Society, ‘Pateley Show’, which goes back over 120 years, brought people together from across the Dales and beyond to mark the end of the agricultural show season.
Attending events that attract large numbers of visitors can sometimes feel a little impersonal, but for John England, 67, who has been going to the Nidderdale Show since the age of 17, it is a place where “everyone knows each other”. Donning a fluorescent jacket for his marshalling duties this year, John pointed at the throng of visitors approaching him.
He said: “Standing here, you see everyone you know, I’ve spotted three people I know in just this minute. I’ve always enjoyed the show, and being a marshal it’s nice to see people coming in, it’s very social. The show is such a big event, you can spend all day here and not get around it.”
For many show-goers, one of the highlights is the band parade that goes down Pateley Bridge’s High Street. Lining the street in eager anticipation were Kamal and Mick Blanchshard, and Sheila and Bernard Dennis. The four regularly attend the Nidderdale Show together. Sheila and Bernard travelled all the way from Hertfordshire. Turning to look at the rapidly assembling crowd, Sheila said: “Just look at that, there’s such a buzz. Everyone is waiting for the band, it’s a real community effort.” Bernard added: “When we come up here, I like the people in Pateley Bridge. They always speak to you, they are fantastic.” As parade time drew closer, Mick Blanchshard said: “We stand here every year, year after year, to watch it. I like the atmosphere, I think it is very traditional England.”
Proudly standing on the steps outside Pancake House on High Street was Craig Mawer, the Manager and Chef. He said: “I’ve stepped out to see my little lad who’s in the Scouts and taking part in the parade, This show’s massively important, it brings the community together.” On the showground, inside the Heritage Marquee, community groups were busy running stalls to share what they do with show-goers. John Kerby, Vice President and Trustee of the Nidderdale Angling Club, said: “It’s a great place to meet old friends who you have not seen for years,” President of The Nidderdale Agricultural Society Margaret Liddle, said: “The entries are good and the livestock are always a really good standard.”
"A roaring success"
This year’s show how has been hailed a “roaring success” by organisers. The Honorary Secretary of The Nidderdale Agricultural Society Paul Fryer, said: “The show went phenomenally well. The sun shone, and people came out and had a fantastic day.
“The Nidderdale Show really is the jewel in the crown of county shows. I spoke to exhibitors, show entrants, members of the public and traders, and asked them if the show had been what they expected, and they said it had been everything they expected, and in some cases more.” The show had a mixture of traditional and modern attractions.
Mr Fryer said: “The motorbike Squibb Freestyle Stunt Show literally made people’s jaws drop. Everybody, young and old enjoyed the day, and the dog show was a roaring success. The show jumping was a joy to watch, and it finished the day off in a flurry of wonderful horses and wonderful horsemanship.
“This year’s parade was the best parade I have seen for some years. Last year it was tipping it down and the heavens opened, but this year it was bright and people really enjoyed it.”
Mr Fryer placed a sixpence bet on the day with one of the “oldest and most treasured members” of The Nidderdale Agricultural Society, Alan Foster, that attendance at the show would top 18,000. Still waiting on final figures to come in, Mr Fryer said it “looks promising”.
A mix of traditional and modern displays
While the friendly atmosphere and abundance of community spirit was undoubtedly a big appeal for visitors to the show this year, the main ring attractions were also a major pull, drawing in impressive crowds with a programme that offered a wide range of entertainment for all ages. With a string of radical aerobatic stunts, the Squibb Freestyle motorcycle show thrilled and amazed spectators in the afternoon, in a very modern display that some attendees said they had “seen nothing like before.”
Honorary Secretary of the Nidderdale Show, Paul Fryer, said that Squibb Freestyle’s showcase was a sign of “moving with the times, while also maintaining a lot of the show’s well-loved traditions”. At the main ring these traditions included a parade of fox hounds by the West of Yore Hunt and by the Claro Beagles, and the ever popular terrier racing. There was also the judging of the horse and pony classes; the parade and presentation of horse trophies, and the traditional Grand Parade with presentation of trophies.
Stallholder Neil Pittaway, 43, husband of artist Lucy Pittaway, said: “The show’s in a beautiful location and I think it’s really nice how everything’s centred around the main ring. I’m here selling Lucy’s art.”
Elsewhere, other attractions included the Meltham and Meltham Mills Band playing throughout the day, a cricket match between a Nidderdale XI and a Craven League XI, a heritage marquee, and a small traders marquee.
David Shields, North Yorkshire Area Director for Welcome to Yorkshire, explained that the show and its attractions are important for a number of reasons.
He said: “They’re important for bringing in the local community and promoting local businesses, but the show is also a real focal point of community spirit, and that’s something visitors to Yorkshire like toexperienceThe Nidderdale Show is the last agricultural show, and we always get a lot of visitors from outside the area as well which is great.”
It was a delightful day for Andrew Jennings, who farms near Fountains Abbey, almost a year after one of his toughest decisions – to quit milking.With low milk prices taking their toll, Mr Jennings sold his 200-strong herd, keeping only his dairy show cow, Merrydale SS Polly. Shown by his daughter Natasha, 17, the Holstein clinched the supreme dairy championship – the third successive year the family has won the top title at Nidderdale. In reserve was Gavin Clarke, who farms at Brimham Rocks, with Abbey House GJ Marbella. Champion beef animal was Bonita Bootie, a Belgian Blue Cross shown by Clare Cropper and John Mellin of Long Preston. Reserve champion was a British Blue, Pendle Knock Em Out owned by Mark Hartley of Pendle Valley. The supreme sheep was a second shear Wensleydale ram shown by Andrew Fisher of Low Laithe, which came out top ahead of a Blue Faced Leicester shearling shown by Sue Sayer of Snilesworth.
The trophy winners in full
CATTLE: Supreme Championship (Beef) – Anthony Bland Trophy, A Jennings (Merrydale SS Polly); Reserve Champion – Brimham Lodge; Dairy Champion – Hardcastle Challenge Cup, A Jennings; T F Brewster Cup – Holstein Champion, A Jennings; Hartwith Plate – Best Exhibitor Bred, A Jennings; John Dobson Trophy, W Jennings; Burnhill Trophy, A Jennings; Preston Cup, Brimham Lodge; Leslie Storey Trophy – Champion Jersey, Mrs G Barker; Colin Clubley Salver, Mrs G Barker; BOCM Silcock Cup – Champion Dairy Shorthorn, I R G Collings & Partners; Hirsch Plate, Brimham Lodge; Derek Wensley Memorial Trophy, A Jennings; Settle Lime Rose Bowl, Brimham Lodge; George Mackwell, Brimham Lodge; Associated Farmers Cup, W Jennings; Eric Pennock Salver, Brimham Lodge; President’s Perpetual Plate – Champion Beef Animal, Mellin & Cropper; John Waring Feeds Cup, M & E Hartley; Swires Trophy – Champion Aberdeen Angus, Miss J Swires; Prince Memorial Rose Bowl – Champion Limousin, S Lunn; NAS Best Beef 1984 Trophy – Best Limousin Opposite Sex, J Sheard; Abrahams Trophy – Champion Beef Shorthorn, Mrs T Severn; Turner Trophy – Champion Highland, S Haley; Steve Stobbs Memorial Trophy – Champion British Blue, M & E Hartley; Jackson & Hall Challenge Trophy – Champion British Blonde, T R Craven; Kendall Jackson Trophy – Best British Blonde Mail, Miss M Donaldson; NFU Trophy – Champion Any Other Pure Beef Breed, J B Wainwright; Charolais Silver Salver – Highest Placed Charolais, J B Wainwright; Jack Hollings Trophy – Champion Commercial Beef, Mellin & Cropper; Weatherhead Trophy – Best Opposite Sex Commercial Beef, Mudd & Bentley; W L King Memorial Trophy – Champion Commercial Bullock, Mudd & Bentley; W L King Rose Bowl – Champion Commercial Heifer, Mellin & Cropper; Archer Lee Trophy – Best Local Beef, B Hardcastle; Verity Silver Cup – Best Local Heifer Calf, B Hardcastle. Mitchell Cup, J A Stoney & Son; M Grayshon Trophy u16 – Best Young Handler, Tom Anderson; M Grayshon Trophy 17-25 – Best Young Handler, Georgina Laws.
YOUNG FARMERS: Iveson Cup, Amy Wilshaw; Fiddlers Green Rose Bowl, Olivia Shepherd; John Dawson Trophy, Edward Snow; K & A Hardcastle Trophy, Megan Beecroft; Nicholson Trophy, Laura Terry; Leeming Trophy, Josh Tyder; John G Houseman Perpetual Challenge Cup, John Simpson; Wilson Trophy, John Simpson; Alsop Shield, Felliscliffe YFC; Fred Harker Trophy, Felliscliffe YFC; Lister Cup, Louise Gibbon; Jack Guy Trophy, Edward Snow: Bradford & Bingley Trophy, Will Jennings: J Bibby Plaque, Edward Snow: Warren Construction Trophy, Mary Staveley; G M & J Robinson Trophy, Natasha Jennings; Paynes Dairies Trophy, John Simpson; Nidderdale Herald Challenge Cup, Issy Hartley; William Houseman Award, John Simpson.
SHEEP: Supreme Champion – 1912 J C Yorke Cup, A Fisher (Wensleydale); Reserve Champion – Septimum Liddle Trophy, Mrs S Sayer (Bluefaced Leicester); Nidderdale Steam Rally Cup – Champion Suffolk, L Peel; Bert Verity Cup – Champion Texel, J North; R Newby Trophy (Texel Gimmer Lamb Pair), J North; Binns Cup (Texel Ram Lamb), M Crabtree; Taylor & Ellington Trophy – Champion Charollais, D Dennis; Beltex Trophy – Champion Beltex, M & E Jennings; Kirby’s Trophy – Champion Any Other Pure Breed, J North; Chadwick Trophy – Champion Dorset, S M & J E Gray; David Hullah Trophy (Best Dorset Female), S M & J E Gray; Eavestone Cup – Champion Wensleydale, A Fisher; Dawson Trophy – Champion Swaledale, P Ewbank; Hinchley Trophy – Best Local Swaledale, P Ewbank; J Dowson Cup (Local Swaledale), M Ewbank; J Ickeringill Cup (Swaledale), P Ewbank; Nidderdale Agricultural Society Trophy – Champion Bluefaced Leicester, Mrs S Sayer; Freddie Hardcastle Trophy – Best Open Mule Gimmer Lamb, M & B Allen; T W Wilkinson Trophy – Best Local Mule Gimmer Lamb, J A Stoney & Son; Washburn Valley Trophy – Champion Dalesbred, R Close; Enoch Garth Trophy – Best Local Dalesbred, J K Wilson; George Brown Trophy (Local Dalesbred), J K Wilson; Middlesmoor Crown Hotel Trophy (Local Dalesbred), M & S J Harrison; S F Glencorse Trophy (Local Dalesbred), M & S J Harrison; Neil Gill Trophy (Local Dalesbred), M & S J Harrison; David Henry Challis Trophy (Local Dalesbred), J K Wilson; J R Newbould Trophy – Champion Teeswater, D & G C Newbould; Burgess Shield (Local Teeswater), D & G C Newbould; Fewston Trophy – Champion Masham, A Fisher; J B Liddle Shield (Local Masham), A Fisher; Kittson & Kittson Trophy (Local Masham), A Fisher; MacDonald Trophy (Local Masham), A Fisher;Holroyd Perpetual Trophy – Champion Jacob, C Thwaite; T J Smith Trophy – Highest Placed North Country Cheviot, Miss C L Guy; Champion Rare Breed Trophy, D Coupland; William Carling Trophy – Champion Cross Bred, Mrs R M Guy; Heyshaw Trophy (Butchers Lambs), J A Stoney & Son; Weatherhead Cup (Local Butchers Lambs), F Harrison; Robbie Heaton Centenary Cup (Local Butchers Lambs, J A Stoney & Son; A E Dixon Cup – Best Carcass, T H, K & T M Wood.
PIGS: Andrew Scholey Trophy – Most points in Show, Gary Dawson; K Whitley Trophy – Best in Show, Gary Dawson; Atkinson Trophy – Best Local, Gary Dawson.
GOATS: Best in Show - Fringill Farm Supplies Trophy, M Bond; Reserve – BOCM Silcock Trophy, M Boocock; Bewerley Park Trophy, M Boocock; Ormondroyd Award, P Philips; R C Bland Trophy, D & C Shipley; Shepherd Trophy, M Bond; Northwolds Shield, M Holmes; Icelarger Shield, M Bond; I’Anson Bros Trophy, C Parker.
HORSES: Tic Tac Trophy – Open Equitation, Claire Robinson; Priestley Developments Ltd Trophy – Best Ridden Hunter, L Richmond & F Johnson; Thomas Iveson Trophy – Best Hunter Brood Mare, Julie Pullan; F B Hirsch Cup – Best Hunter Foal, Julie Pullan; Abrahams Cup – Best Yearling, Tina Carswell; Brogden Trophy – Best 2 yr old Hunter, Laura Dixon; A M P S News Ltd Trophy – Overall Hunter Champion, L Richmond & F Johnson; Nidderdale Agricultural Show Challenge Bowl – Reserve Hunter Champion, Laura Dixon; Mulberry Trophy – Riding & Turnout, Katie Hair; Syntax Trophy – Riding & Turnout, William Hall; Fred Graham Trophy – Best Local Riding & Turnout, Katie Hair; Bewerley Challenge Cup – Childrens’ Riding, William Hall; Maureen Calvert Trophy – Best Coloured (in-hand), Rachael Motley; Bedell Trophy – Best Coloured (ridden), Claire Robinson; Team Wood Show Horses Trophy – Coloured Champion, Claire Robinson; John Allanson Trophy – Champion Heavy Horse, S Brown; McConnell Challenge Cup – Champion Mountain and Moorland, Viv Morris; Stremmart Stud Memorial Shield – Reserve Champion, Mrs R Harvey; Ian Wakefield Trophy – Best Welsh A&B, Mrs S Spencer; Tom Mawer Cup (Mountain & Moorland), Miss C Illingworth; J A Stoney Trophy – Highest Placed Dales Pony, Miss C Illingworth; Parker Family Trophy – Highest Placed Fell Pony, Viv Morris; Jack Motley Trophy (Mountain & Moorland), Mrs R Harvey; Exmoor Pony Grazing Trophy – Highest Placed Exmoor Pony, Julie Armstrong.