Northumberland County Show secretary Gaynor Scandle is to step down

After nine years, thousands of exhibitors and hundreds of thousands of visitors, Gaynor Scandle is leaving the North's premier agricultural event

Robert Smith Gaynor Scandle
Gaynor Scandle

Super-organised Gaynor Scandle, secretary of Northumberland County Show, is stepping down after nine years in the role.

Gaynor has been a kingpin of Tynedale Agricultural Society, which runs the popular show, since joining in 2005 to work with the then secretary Kath Walton.

After Kath’s sudden sad death, Gaynor took on the challenge of running the show with the backing of the team of volunteers who form the management and wider committee.

In her hands, attendance at the show has risen from 20,485 to its highest ever figure of 27,608 in 2011.

On average, 25,000 visitors make the journey to the Tyne Valley to join the hundreds of farming and trade exhibitors who make the show a must-see event for not just the rural community but people from the region’s towns and cities.

For many of them it is a rare opportunity to find out about rural communities and country life.

In 2013, Northumberland County Show saw its biggest change for more than 66 years with the move away from Tynedale Park at Corbridge to Bywell Hall near Stocksfield.

Gaynor, who will be moving on to a new career, said:“The move has been a great challenge for the office and committee but it will prove to be the best location for the show to grow and prosper in the future.”

Paying tribute, chairman Chris Chomse said: “We are obviously very sad to be losing Gaynor but wish her every success in her new career. The show has been a huge part of her life and all her family have been involved over the years.

“On behalf of the management team I would like to thank Gaynor for all her hard work and dedication to the show over the last nine years.”

One of Gaynor’s legacies will be to have created a more secure future for the region’s local agricultural shows and events.

Earlier this year she volunteered her time, experience and connections to lead a support network for those involved in the management of similar events across the region.

She was hoping to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, commercial information and best practice to benefit others.

The group will be part of the Association of Shows and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO), a nationwide charity set up to support, educate and promote agriculture, horticulture and rural affairs through events and shows.

It boasts an illustrious membership including the Yorkshire, Highland and big Royal shows, Burghley Horse Trials and numerous game fairs, food festivals and horticultural shows around the country.

Gaynor said: “In my role at the County Show, I attend national ASAO meetings which provide me with an invaluable source of information.

“However, I’ve noticed that there are very few smaller shows from our area that are members.

“The ASAO region we are part of extends from Humberside to Berwick, so it doesn’t have a strong local feel.

“I decided to set up a North Eastern group to bridge that gap.

“I want to give something back to the agricultural community that I’ve been part of all of my life.”

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