Glorious summer weather encouraged massive crowds to flock to Glendale Show yesterday – with organisers claiming it was possibly the biggest and best ever.
Officials estimated that more than 15,000 people from all over the North East converged on the show ground, near Wooler, Northumberland, for the annual celebration of agriculture and rural life.
It was a far cry from last year – when torrential rain put a massive damper on the event – with traffic queues forming outside and the car parks full to bursting. Yesterday was the 121st show and organisers, the Glendale Agricultural Society, had pulled out all the stops to attract new exhibitors in the baking and horticultural classes, a 450-strong entry in the sheep section and a packed programme of entertainment.
There were 400 horse entries, goat and donkey classes were up and the programme included Big Pete and the Grim Reaper, two of the biggest monster trucks in the UK.
The trucks put on a display in the main ring, a first for the show, which also featured the country’s tiniest Grand National – a Shetland Pony race which was a qualifier for a major show at London Olympia.
Show secretary Rachael Tait said: “We have never had a day like this and it’s been absolutely fantastic. From when the gates opened at 9am, the public streamed in and we couldn’t have wished for more.
“In my five years as secretary this is certainly the biggest and best show, and I was actually quite overwhelmed by the amount of people around the show ring. I would say it is our busiest day ever.
“We have got all the livestock because we pride ourselves on being an agricultural show, but the monster trucks have been a huge draw and the Shetland Pony Grand National was fantastic too. We also had about 60 runners in the fell race.”
Visitors also enjoyed a display by the Northumbria Police mounted section and a parade of livestock, alpacas and Clydesdale horses.
Meanwhile on Tyneside, families were treated to a feast of Asian music and food at the second day of the Newcastle Mela. The programme at Exhibition Park included music, food and craft stalls, and rides.
Among the visitors was mum-of-two Manisha Khanna, 32, of Fenham. She took her sons Rahul, five, and Rohan, seven, to the event.
She said: “It was a great day out for us. My boys loved the children’s rides, the music and the food, especially the kulfi ice cream, which they couldn’t get enough of.”
Fans of vintage vehicles were catered for yesterday at the Historic Vehicle Rally in Seaburn, Sunderland.