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2017 Nantwich Show - photo special

PUBLISHED: 00:00 08 September 2017

Young handler Jake Daley of Tarporley with Calveley Elliott which won 1st prize Young Farmers Beef Calf section

Young handler Jake Daley of Tarporley with Calveley Elliott which won 1st prize Young Farmers Beef Calf section


This summer, the Nantwich Show celebrated 120 years. Rebekka O’Grady talks to both seasoned and newer competitors about what it’s like to take part.

It may only be one day of excitement, but it’s a busy year round job for Adrian Lawrence, of the Nantwich Agricultural Society and the many volunteers who make the Nantwich Show a success. Whether it’s ensuring the competition class timetables are correct to booking the thrilling entertainment for the main ring, no details go unchecked – and it’s this passion that makes the agricultural show such a success.

‘We sold out of everything so early,’ said Adrian, show secretary and recent recipient of the Cheshire Life Food Hero award. ‘Alongside the record entries, it just shows the esteem of the show and that’s really pleasing.’

Despite the poor weather that hung over the showground for the majority of the day, visitors still turned out in their thousands to marvel at the many agricultural sights and sounds, taste delicious produce in the Mornflake Pavilion Food Hall or watch a demonstration in the Countryside Pursuits Arena. The show is also home to the International Cheese Awards, the largest cheese show in the world, and you can read more about that in this month’s Food and Drink section.

Plenty of spectators were gathered around the integral cattle section, where we met two groups of competitors who weren’t going to let rivalry come between them. Fifteen-year-old Hollie Richardson from Warmingham had just scooped champion in the British Blonde category, with her dad, Ian, looking proudly on. Reserve champion was awarded to Cholmondeley’s Chris Hopley, with his bull led by Steph Mansfield. It’s not the first time that Chris has lost out to Hollie and Ian, with the same results occurring at the Royal Cheshire County Show a few weeks prior. Despite a playful exchange of words, it was clear to see the respect and spirit shared by the farming community at these important events.

Other young competitors proving their worth included siblings Thomas and Keira Brindley from Market Drayton. The seven and six year olds both won first place in the Young Handlers Junior category with their Holstein Friesian calves, and the sheer joy of holding a red rosette was written on their faces.Tarporley’s Jake Daley, 10, was also a winner, taking home first prize in the Young Farmers beef calf section. Jake has been competing from a young age: ‘I love farming and showing cattle. I help out on the farm at home and I would like to become a farmer, so to win these rosettes makes me very happy.’

Along with the many impressive cattle classes, the Nantwich Show also hosts hundreds of sheep, horses, pigeons and poultry. Norbury farmer David Booth added to his collection of two awards already won that day with a red rosette in the Native Breed Ewe class for his Grey Faced Dartmoor Sheep: ‘I’ve been competing here for six years, and each time it feels marvellous to win.’

It’s not only livestock that can earn an award here, but floral art, horticulture, honey and home produce. Similar to that of a village show, exhibits are welcome from experts to newcomers, from young and more mature people. Stealing the spotlight again were a grandfather and grandson from South Cheshire, with their spectacular vegetables. Ayden Bebington, nine, or the ‘demon vegetable grower’ as his friends call him, was winner of the Best Junior Exhibit category for the second year on the run and also received seven rosettes – including Horticulture Best Junior for his carrots.

‘It feels absolutely brilliant to win, I love this show,’ said Ayden’s grandfather, John Bebington, from Crewe. His three large onions won him Best Vegetable in Show and Horticulture Best Exhibit in Show. ’To do this with Ayden is special. I feel more pride out of him winning than I do for myself.’

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