Cheshire County Show 2008 A Grand Day Out
PUBLISHED: 20:54 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:18 20 February 2013
Lords, ladies, farmers and the rest of us descended in record numbers on the Tabley Showground for this year's Cheshire County Show <br/>WORDS BY LOUISE TAYLOR AND LUCY BEAUMONT<br/>PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON AND PAUL SWEENEY
How often do you hear a speech beginning 'Lords, ladies and gentlemen' followed by a faint snigger because everyone knows there are, of course, no lords and ladies present. But when the opening speaker at the President's Lunch at the Cheshire County Show used that familiar phrase, the elegant gathering really did merit such an address.
Among Cheshire's great and good tucking into the fine four-course lunch were the Marquess of Cholmondeley, David. Lord Cholmondeley, the Lord Great Chamberlain to Her Majesty, is also the show's President this year. Seated close to him were Lord and Lady Ashbrook of Arley Hall; Lord and Lady Grey of Codnor; the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire and his wife, Mrs Bromley-Davenport; Sir Richard and Lady Baker Wilbraham.
Oh, and on an adjacent table were the new Crewe and Nantwich MP the Rt Hon Edward Timpson and his wife, Julia and the Eddisbury MP Stephen O'Brien (Shadow Minister for Health) and his wife, Gemma.
But the landed gentry presence was dwarfed by the number of farmers, farmers' wives, and the tens of thousands of visitors from around the region who descended on the Tabley showground, near Knutsford, for the North-West's largest agricultural show.
From cows, sheep, tractors and lamas to the Best Dressed Lady competition, and from the finest handreared livestock to miniature toy dogs, the Cheshire County Show embodies every flavour of life in Cheshire.
Up to 70,000 people visited the show over Tuesday and Wednesday, June 17 and 18, to see the outstanding variety of exhibits. Executive director Nigel Evans said: 'The Show went extremely well and there was a real buzz this year. Visitors and exhibitors seemed to really enjoy the exciting and diverse range of activities which took place over the two days.
The weather was very good to us on Tuesday and despite the showers on Wednesday, visitors still turned out in huge numbers to give us one of the best attendances we have ever had.'
Celebrity botanist David Bellamy, who was a special guest, said: 'The Cheshire Show is a fantastic celebration of the county and its agricultural community, which has been working these soils for hundreds of years. It's made successful by all the people who are heavily involved, including hundreds of volunteers. It's thanks to them that all these visitors come year after year.'
The new chairman of the Cheshire Show Tony Garnett, who took over from John Platt this year when he retired after 30 years, is keen to build on the success of the Show. 'In my first show as chairman it has been an extremely successful year.
We will continue to build on this success and maintain the agricultural theme for the benefit of everyone who visits. This year the 'From Plough to Plate' theme in the Agri-Centre showing visitors where their food comes from was extremely popular. It is important for us to demonstrate what happens to food from when it leaves the soil to when it appears in the supermarket,' he said.
TV chef Kevin Woodford, of BBC's Ready Steady Cook, was on hand to show visitors how to use local produce to cook up culinary delights. Cooking in the Roberts Bakery Food Live Theatre, Kevin used produce from the Hollies farm shop at Little Budworth, as well as Cheshire ham, asparagus and honey.
'Cheshire has some exquisite food producers so it is a pleasure to cook with such first-class produce. I always enjoy visiting Cheshire so to come to the Cheshire Show is a great experience to find out what is at the heart of the county.'
As well as food and animals, the show handed out an award to the Best Dressed Lady for the first time. Hand-picked from crowds of tens of thousands of people, Karol Roberts, from Knutsford, was chosen by Cheshire Life editor Louise Taylor.