Oh, what a show

Edward Whittaker, 18 with Knutsford Dividend at Garstang Show
Edward Whittaker, 18 with Knutsford Dividend at Garstang Show

IT had been dubbed Super Saturday, and it certainly was for Garstang as thousands descended on the town to celebrate one of the biggest social events of the year.

The 197th occcasion of the Garstang and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society Show welcomed visitors from across the North West and beyond, with exhibitors challenging for awards in hundreds of classes.

And, just as in the Olympics in London, there was a whole host of local champions clocking up awards in various sections from cheese and horticulture to horses, cattle, sheep, goats, poultry and dogs, rabbits and budgies.

Committee members praised the standard of entries, saying the quality and competition was higher than ever before and making for one of society’s “best ever shows.”

Poultry show judge Robert Ainsworth from Lostock Hall, near Preston, said: “It is a privilege to be asked to judge at Garstang.

“I’ve been involved here for a number of years, have made quite a few friends and it is an event we always look forward to and a credit to the people who run it.”

And it seemed the crowds agreed, as show-goers fought their way around the tents celebrating the exhibits and displays on offer.

The only sticking point was the unpredictable August weather, but for great parts of the day the sun was out, with the occasional shower doing little to deter the queues to the showground off Wyre Lane.

The area’s talent put on some of their best performances in the show ring, attracting large audiences to the main stand.

Show chairman David Hewitt was overwhelmed by the turnout. He said: “The 197th Garstang Show has been a great success.

“A record number of families in attendance, a field full of quality exhibits and some great weather combined to make a really happy and enjoyable day for everyone. This really was the best reward for the whole committee who, along with the secretary, have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to put the show together.

“I personally had an great day in the company of our president, Bill Fowler and his wife Jean, looking around the show field, and would like to thank everyone for coming along to support the show.”

Garstang town mayor Sandra Perkins said: “The weather was good, the people were better but the show was the best!”

Major events of 2012 had also had an influence on the occasion, with the horticultural tent focusing on a Diamond Jubilee theme.

Stewards David Makinson and Karen Myerscough said the section had been up on entries and the theme had captured the imagination of young and old.

David said: “We’ve had some wonderful displays especially from the young schoolchildren, the theme has really worked well this year and the section is as popular as ever.”

Show secretary Sue White said it was the dedicated team efforts of society members that helped make the show a success, year after year. She added: “It was another excellent day. We are really pleased with how everything went and weather wise it was very good!

“People work incredibly hard, especially in the run-up to the show, but it’s great to see it all pay off.”