Bales attract bidders

Thumbs up for Flame. Sian McCubbin (eight) with her pet cow's �110 Valentine's Day gift
Thumbs up for Flame. Sian McCubbin (eight) with her pet cow's �110 Valentine's Day gift

Simonside

Bales attract a bevy of bidders

On Bale: Ian Harvey (left) collects  first prize from Simonside Hay Show's Hedley Heron.

On Bale: Ian Harvey (left) collects first prize from Simonside Hay Show's Hedley Heron.

The Simonside Country Fair’s annual Hay Show embraced a big Valentine’s Day crowd at the Gate public house, just south of Rothbury.

Following 2015s record breaking fair and a £5,000 festive giveaway to good causes last December, local people flocked to the Hay Show and Pledge Auction on Sunday to raise even more money for Northumberland-based charities close to their hearts.

A marquee outside the Gate pub kept the snow at bay and ensured the bevy of bidders were warm and dry as the hay bales were judged and auctioned, along with 130 pledges from local businesses and benefactors.

Items up for auction this year included meals at local restaurants, local legs of lamb, £50 vouchers and umpteen bottles of booze, along with clay shoots, chocolates and cakes.

Simonside Country Fair chairman Jamie Whicker said: “The generosity of local firms and friends never ceases to amaze. Once again we’ve been overwhelmed with both kindness and hard cash – raising thousands of pounds for the good causes local people hold dear.

“It warms my heart to think of the difference our Hay Show makes to so many deserving people and projects right on our doorstep.

“And I’m passionate about raising even more money on the second Saturday in August at the Simonside Country Fair. Make it a date.”

Winner of this year’s Hay Show Champion Bale Trophy was Shotton farmer Ian Harvey, whose prize bale was promptly auctioned and sold for a jaw-dropping £110 to eight-year-old Sian McCubbin, with a little financial assistance from step-dad Chris Anderson.

And what was young Sian planning to do with her award-winning golden bale of luxury fodder? Delicious Valentine’s Day dinner, of course – for her lucky pet cow Flame.