A look ahead to the 2013 Anglesey Show
PUBLISHED: 11:07 26 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:07 26 June 2013
Show time comes to Anglesey again for one of the big draws in the agricultural calendar
Ever wondered what a Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep looks like?
The place to find that out would be the Anglesey Show, one of the biggest events in the Welsh farming diary.
The numbers tell their own tale: an expected 55,000 visitors, almost 350 trade stands and a collection of livestock running to 300 cattle, 800 sheep, 60 pigs, 40 goats, 400 poultry, 100 rabbits and 60 pigeons.
Among those will be some rare breeds, primitive breeds and some varieties – like that Badger Face Welsh Mountain Sheep - which seem a mite unfamilar.
And then there are the horses – show horses and showjumping horses, that is – coming from all over the UK and numbering about 1,000 over the two days of the show, Tuesday August 13 and Wednesday August 14.
This will be the 126th Anglesey Show. It has been held every year, barring wartime and outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, since the 19th century.
‘It started off as a small event going from one village to another on Anglesey until it was established on this permanent site in 1974,’ says Aled Hughes, show administrator.
That permanent site lies at Gwalchmai, across the A5 road from Mona airfield, on a 160-acre showground also used for car boot sales which draw massive attendances every Sunday. Proper roads have been laid across the site, and a pavilion built, so that even if it rains, the site will not be the muddy quagmire into which the average county show descends when the weather is not kind.
‘We will have the pavilion laid out like a shopping complex, and also have areas for children with face-painting, a magician, a Punch and Judy and various other things,’ says Aled.
Despite all this sophisticated organisation, and a park-and-ride scheme to ferry people to the show from a parking area on the nearby airfield, Aled says this is still very much a traditional country show at heart, with all that entails.
Gleaming cows, preened pigs and pampered poultry will be brought for judging by farmers in the hope of honours, just as they have been throughout the show’s long history. But the 21st century Anglesey farmer’s lot is not always a happy one.
‘Much like elsewhere, a lot of the small farms are going by the wayside,’ says Aled. ‘Farmers are still struggling, especially dairy farmers with milk prices.
‘The numbers in our dairy cattle section are going down, unfortunately.’
Six reasons to visit the Anglesey Show
More animals even than Noah could muster, from pigeons to shire horses Up to 350 trade stands featuring things agricultural and non-agricultural, clothing, crafts, even vehicles. Who can resist an old tractor? The show includes displays by the Anglesey Vintage Equipment Society. In the activity arena will be gun dogs, dog agility competitions and hawking. Feast your eyes in the marquee on floral art, prize vegetables and lots of home-baking. There’s an aerobatic motorcycle stunt show by the Jamie Squibb Freestyle motocross team
For full details visit www.angleseyshow.org.uk or call 0845 2305179 for advance tickets.