Keeping it in the family at farming show
Last updated at 21:17, Thursday, 09 August 2012
Thousands of people of all ages attended the Olympics of the farming world in Cockermouth.
The 162nd Cockermouth Agricultural Show on Saturday was brought to a premature ending because of heavy rain – but not before a strong turnout supported the many local farmers who had come to show their livestock.
The Fitz was full of people admiring the animals, browsing trade stalls and enjoying the fun fair.
A display by the Blackrock Llamas was the top attraction in the main ring, and the Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling was well supported by a cheering crowd.
Despite a tough year in agriculture, farmers turned out in their droves to show off their animals and in many cases it was a real family affair.
Rodney Armstrong, of Plaskett Lands, Mawbray, was persuaded to enter the show after a nine-year break by son Michael, 20.
Michael’s grandfather Joe, 84, was also there to pass on his years of show experience dating back to the 1950s. Their Ayrshire heifers were awarded two first places and one second place.
Rodney, 46, said: “I used to show when I was younger and Ayrshire cattle went out of fashion but my son was keen to show again.
“Shows like this help the industry and your business. It would be a sad day if they went by the wayside.”
Reg Almond, 80, has been entering the show for about 10 years and was helped on the day by his two grandchildren, Rachel, 22, and Michael, 19. They entered nine Texel sheep from Irton House Farm in Isel and got one first place, two thirds and one fourth.
Rachel, who also won the best sheepdog prize with Jaz, said: “We like to support the show because it brings the community together and shows people what we do. It is something we want to carry on and we love showing the sheep.”
Michael, who works on the farm, said: “It is good to see that you have got somewhere after all the effort you put in all year.”
Christine and David Sanderson, of Sanderson Ayrshires, had three generations of their family at the show to watch them win one champion, one reserve champion and two second places.
Christine, of Thackthwaite Hall, Westward, near Wigton, said: “I have been coming to this show for as long as I can remember.
“It is like a shop window for farmers, everyone can see what you have got and it can help when it comes to selling.”
It is not just the farmers who are keeping it in the family, as the industrial section also benefited from wisdom passed down through the generations.
Carole Richardson came first with her fruit salad and jar of chutney and daughter Hannah, 12, achieved the most points in the children’s section, including first places for her limerick and handmade card.
Carole, who has been entering the show for around 25 years, said: “I always enter because I think it keeps local traditions and agriculture going.”
Elizabeth Clark, show president, is another who has followed in the footsteps of her family and has been involved in the show since the 1940s.
Mrs Clark, 80, said: “It is a very family-orientated show and these farmers put so much time into getting everything ready.
“It has been a tough year for farmers but they keep smiling and it is wonderful to see them here.”
First published at 19:19, Thursday, 09 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk