Cheshire County show is gearing up for action

PUBLISHED: 01:15 05 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:00 20 February 2013

Last year's show attracted a record 80,000 people

Last year's show attracted a record 80,000 people

Work is well underway to make this year's Cheshire Show the best yet, as Paul Mackenzie reports

For the 80,000 people who passed through the gates at last year's Cheshire Show it was an entertaining day out. But for the organisers it was the culmination of 12 months planning and hard work. Now, with just two months to go before this year's show opens, the final preparations are being made to ensure another successful show.

Soon after the last of 2009's record crowd had left the Tabley showground, the show's chief executive Nigel Evans was chairing a meeting to analyse how the event had gone. The verdict was pretty impressive.

'We were pleased with last year's show,' Nigel said. 'We had been apprehensive about how the credit crunch would affect visitor numbers but it seemed to work in our favour because we had a record attendance. We hope that the extra people who came last year will come back this year.

'We have meetings pretty much straight after the show closes to see what we have done right and what we have done wrong. In the winter we start in earnest organising the next year's show. There is an awful lot to do every year but we aim to get everything straight by the end of May.'

This year's show - on June 22nd and 23rd - will be the fifth Nigel has overseen and he added: 'We are looking very healthy this year with our trade stands but one headache we have is to make sure each stand is in the right place and that it is happy with its neighbours.

'We always need to be challenging what we are doing to make sure the show is the best it can be and to avoid it being the same each year.

'There won't be any major changes this year - just fine tuning. The poultry section seems to have really taken off so that will continue to develop.

People also increasingly want to learn about food production, that has really come to the fore. They want to know to know where food comes from and how it gets from the field to the plate and we are ideally placed to tell them.

'Farming is the heartbeat of the show and it is run by farmers for farmers although other interest groups have come to play a part. The show covers the complete range of rural interests and people with any interest in the countryside can come and experience something.'

Tony Garnett has been the show chairman for three years and he added: 'Cheshire is a very rural county and the show is a fantastic showcase for the county. It is such a big community event. We have an army of about 400 volunteers and without them the show just wouldn't happen. They are the backbone of the show. We were the first show in the country to be awarded the Queen's Award for voluntary service and that is great tribute to as lot of people.'

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