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Great Yorkshire Show: Back to the future as Harrogate prepares to put on the greatest of shows

Charged with nostalgia, next week’s Great Yorkshire Show will take us back to where it all began, with special archive footage and events to mark the show’s 160-year history.

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More than 130,000 visitors are expected to fill the showground over the three days, starting on Tuesday.

The Great Yorkshire Show starts on Tuesday.

The Great Yorkshire Show starts on Tuesday.

The event’s organisers, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, said this year is about celebrating the show’s heritage, whilst also looking ahead to the future.

The Society’s Chief Executive, Nigel Pulling, said: “This year’s show is all about keeping the best of the past, but also moving forward in delivering what people want. We can’t stand still.

“We’ll always stay true to the show’s farming roots, but we also need to be modern and listen to what people would like to see - things can’t just stay the same, you have to keep moving forward.”

The Yorkshire Film Archive and Washburn Heritage Centre will be presenting rare archive footage of some of the earliest Great Yorkshire Shows, and a series of short films will capture the essence of rural life.

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Also new for this year, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society has been working with sculptor Emma Stothard to create a life-sized sculpture of a Craven Heifer, which will be on display on the

President’s lawn during the show, and soprano Lizzie Jones will make history as the first singer to perform in the main ring. Lizzie will sing with The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps, and perform after a one minute’s silence remembering one of the show’s longest-serving commentators, Mike Tucker, who died in March.

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Show director Charles Mills, pictured above, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to have Lizzie Jones taking centre stage at the 160th show and making history as the first ever singer to perform in the main ring during the show.

“It will also be very special to see Lizzie perform as we pay tribute to Mike Tucker, a good friend of the Society and the show.”

Equestrian dynamo Lorenzo will be returning to the main ring this year, after his amazing horsemanship proved so popular in 2014.

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Countryfile presenter Anita Rani will be taking to the catwalk for the popular fashion show. A line of limited edition clothing to mark the show’s 160th year has also been launched.

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society says it is the breadth of the Great Yorkshire Show’s offering that has been so integral to its success over the last 160 years.

Mr Mills said: “Our 160th Great Yorkshire Show is set to be magical, with some of the finest animals in the UK competing - breathtaking performances in the main ring, and plenty of surprises lined up for visitors to celebrate the show’s milestone.

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“This is a celebration of food, countryside and agriculture with something for everyone of every age while keeping farming at its heart.”

The Great Yorkshire Show is known for its royal guests, and this year, it is Princess Anne who will be visiting the showground, on Wednesday.

Mr Mills said: “We are honoured by Her Royal Highness’s visit, and it is always wonderful to welcome a visitor with such a genuine interest in farming and the countryside.”