Royal County show is 100, not out!By Linda Fort
September 17, 2009
The chairman of this year’s Royal County of Berkshire Show can claim connections with the event going back a century.
Simon Carter’s grandfather and great grandfather attended the first ever show to run their trade stand 100 years ago this year.
Now, the centenary chairman runs his family business, Carters – the camping store in Caversham Road, Reading.
A hundred years ago the store was working with canvass just as it does today, but in those days the canvass was for agricultural goods such as nosebags and hayrick covers.
Mr Carter, 46, says: “We are looking forward with great enthusiasm to the 2009 show and the celebrating the centenary of the society [the Newbury and District Agricultural Association, who organise the show].
“It will be a special year and it is a great honour to be chairman as we mark this major milestone.”
Organisers are keeping their fingers crossed because this year is untouched by animal disease scares like foot and mouth and bluetongue.
In previous years, the show has been hit by livestock bans. But this year the complete range of livestock is booked and the show, run by the Newbury and District Agricultural Association will include the Aberdeen Angus Gold Award Show and the South West Holstein Calf Championships.
Visitors will be able to see the very best in livestock from sheep, llamas, goats and poultry to pigs and cattle.
To celebrate the centenary with more significant birthdays, the show organisers have got together with the Royal Navy ,which is celebrating 100 years of naval air power and will be sending along the Royal Navy Raiders parachute team will be proving displays.
The Morgan car company is also 100 years old this year and will be providing a display of classic and vintage cars.
The show will provide food for thought with the British Food Fair which promotes British and local produce, mainly from small producers.
The final of the Waitrose/Country Living Magazine Made in Britain Awards will also be held at the show this year.
A cookery theatre will be the venue for demonstrations by chef Mike Robinson of the Pot Kiln in Frilsham alongside game butchers Vicars of Reading.
A spinner is hoping to clock up a first for the show by spinning 100 skeins of wool from 100 different breeds of sheep.
During the show members will be able to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane with a display put together by the society looking back over a century of the show, which is affectionately referred to as the “Newbury Show”.
Gardening expert Pippa Greenwood has been invited to the WI tent for the Friday evening before the main show events for a special Gardeners’ Question Time.
Each show day will close – weather permitting – with a traditional hot air balloon ascent.
Although similar shows are under threat and the Royal Show announced this was its last year recently, the Royal Berkshire Show is going from strength to strength.
One of the organisers and wife of the chairman, Sue Carter says: “The reason this show is so successful is the fantastic team of volunteers who support it every year.
“We have a staff of three or four and everyone else is a volunteer and they do a terrific job.”
The show is held this Saturday and Sunday, at Newbury showground from 8am to 6pm.
Tickets on the gate cost £15 for adults, £12 for concessions and under fives get in free. A family ticket is £40.
Advance tickets are cheaper and available from a range of locations across Reading including Carters on Caversham Road, and the Newbury Building Society in Broad Street, Wokingham.
For more details, including show times, maps, competition details and information on the Newbury and District Agricultural Assoication, log on to the show’s website: www.berkshireshow.co.uk.