Rain ready at the Great Yorkshire Show

Picture by Doug Jackson
Picture by Doug Jackson

A new bridge has been craned into place to ‘weatherproof’ Harrogate’s showground for the biggest event of the year, the Great Yorkshire Show.

An estimated 130,000 visitors are to arrive in Harrogate in just 26 days time for the start of the three-day agricultural showcase which runs from July 9 to 11.

Last year the final two days of the event had to be cancelled after wet weather turned car parks into mudbaths and made the entire area impassable.

Now, to ensure this year’s event is a success, £500,000 has been set aside to prepare the area - starting with a bridge to cross Crimple Beck.

“Following last year’s unprecedented rainfall, our aim is to weatherproof the show as far as we can, and the bridge is part of the plan,” said Nigel Pulling, chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

“We recently acquired additional land which increases the car parking we have available by around 20 per cent.

“It is not that we are expecting more cars, but this gives us greater flexibility of land we can use.

“We have also created more internal roads within the parking areas and substantially extended and improved the drainage.”

The 15m long and 5m wide metal bridge has been placed across the Crimple Beck at the south side of the site, linking the new car parking areas and the existing showground.

The bridge will be in place for the next 12 weeks and visitors can either walk or use a free tractor and trailer shuttle service to get to the show entrances.

Around 45,000 cars are parked at the event over the three days.

It costs around £3m each year to stage the farming showcase which celebrates the best of British farming and provides an insight into rural life.

This year one of the highlights will be a mock battle staged by The Yorkshire Regiment each day in the Main Ring and there will be displays by The White Helmets, The Royal Signals’ Motor Cycle Display Team.

Around 5,000 animals will compete for the championship prizes, and top class show jumping will again be on the agenda, with the prestigious Ripon Select Foods Cock o’the North Trophy as the culmination of the three days of the show jumping competitions.

There is also an extensive food hall, around 1,200 stands selling everything from combine harvesters to designer clothes and demonstrations of country skills.