Thousands flocked to Chipping’s 87th agricultural and horticultural show on Saturday, possibly making it one of the best attended ever.
The previous night’s rain ebbed away, the sun came out and vehicle after vehicle drove onto the showground, forming some of the longest queues along Longridge Road in memory.
Chairman William Pye believed up to 5,000 people were there and described it as “a really great day”.
In his second year as chairman, he said: “It was fabulous. The weather has been fantastic, as have the exhibits.”
And, as he looked over to the main attraction of the day, ”The Sheep Show”, as hundreds of people gathered for the last of three performances of the day of this unique event, he said: “The Sheep Show has attracted huge crowds. The South African, who is from Norfolk, must be doing something right!”
He added: “The president has had a great day and really enjoyed himself and we are all really pleased with what we have collectively achieved.”
Mr Pye chose J and P Miller’s Shorthorn bull as his chairman’s choice of the day.
President Francis Mercer, who is normally one of the sheep stewards, said he had thoroughly enjoyed his change of role and said: “It has been a big success and everything has gone according to plan. The sun is shining and there have been good entries in all the classes.”
Lady president, Helen McCabe said: “It has been lovely. We were a bit anxious this morning, but it has been everything we have wanted it to be.”
They had chosen a magnificent display of flowers in the horticultural section by Janet Simpson, from Chipping as the president’s choice of the day from the whole show.
Besides the agricultural and horticultural sections, there was plenty more to see and do at the show, be it wandering around the craft, home produce and Young Farmers’ tents; sampling a huge variety of cuisine from German Bratwurst sausages to Chinese noodles; from Longridge’s Cunliffe hog roast to Chipping’s Uncle Bob’s ice cream; from the delicious show lunches in the marquee, by Tim Slater and co, to resting in the Chipping Congregational Church tent enjoying a brew and home-made cakes.
Twelve children entered the baby show; there was the opportunity to ‘milk’ Molly the cow at the Chipping Wild Boar park stand; see wood carver Geoff Whitely at work; learn something of rural crime from local PC Carl Chew; take a look around the vintage machinery and numerous trade stands; take part in or watch the dog show judged by Richard and Penny Prest; enter the children’s races; egg catch or tractor race; watch the tug-of-war with Bilsborrow, Longridge and Chipping Young Farmers’ clubs competing - Bilsborrow winning - or sit and watch the Grand Parade and presentation of cups.