Slaley Show hopes to beat last year's success

Annual show reaches it 155th year and organisers are hopeful for sunshine after previous runs of bad weather

Dan Miller Slaley show 2013
Slaley show 2013

Families, farmers and visitors from across the region are getting ready for the 155th Slaley Show.

The annual country show returns this weekend, and hopes are high that numbers will beat last year.

And with no rain forecast for Saturday, there should be no repeat of the bad weather which has so often plagued the event - and which saw the show cancelled in 2004 and 2011.

Around 3,000 people are expected at the farm show, with attractions including sheep dog demonstrations, terrier racing, Irish dancers and alpacas.

Last year there were over 1,000 entries to the various sections, which include horticultural, industrial, children’s, floral art, eggs and wood carving and turning. There are new egg and honey classes this year, as well as a men-only competition for chocolate cake.

Young people from the Whitley Chapel Young Farmers’ Club (WCYF) are helping run the event, and will also be taking part in the Young Farmer’s games.

Lewis Short, the most senior member of WCYF at the age of 26, said: “I joined when I was 11, it was about meeting friends and getting involved.

“Working in a rural location can mean working on your own, and Young Farmers’ get togethers are a way of keeping in touch with people.”

Dan Miller Slaley show 2013
Slaley show 2013

But it is not just the young who get involved - pensioner Dorothy Bell, from Slaley, is now one of the eight section secretaries for Slaley Show.

She only started competing in her 40s, after her first experience of going to an agricultural show at the Cumberland Show in the mid 1980s.

Dorothy said: “I was walking around the industrial tent and I thought that I wouldn’t mind having a go”.

Her first entry was a cross stitch of a multi-coloured panda, and then she moved onto dressing dolls.

Since then, she has taken part in shows around Cumbria, over the border in Scotland and - since she moved to Tynedale - across Northumberland.

She said: “some of the industrial sections at other shows have died out, but hopefully with all the new interest in baking, gardening and generally making stuff that we see on television now, perhaps we can get a whole new set of competitors”.

Dorothy added: “I just enjoy going to all of the shows, I learn by looking at other people’s work and getting ideas from them, ways of doing better the next time”.

Plenty of other country shows are still to come across the North East this summer.

  • The Allendale Show in west Northumberland is on Saturday, August 16, with a main ring attraction this year of Above and Beyond - a professional aerial performance company.

The Glendale Show, which attracts some 15,00 visitors, takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25, at Wooler, Northumberland.

  • Saturday, August 30 sees the Bellingham Show near Kielder, Northumberland, and on the same day is the 145th Weardale Agricultural Society Show in St John’s Chapel, County Durham.

September sees the Wolsingham and Wear Valley Agricultural Society celebrating its 235th annual show on September 6 and 7.

  • And the Stanhope Show on September 13 and 14 will be the 173rd in the show’s history.

Slaley Show opens early in the morning on Saturday, but the main attractions will begin at 11am. Full details can be found on the Slaley Show website, Admission is £5 for adults, £4 for concessions and children under 12 are free.


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