Record entries for the charity hay show

John Cowens. Hay Show Champion.
John Cowens. Hay Show Champion.

Despite the winter weather, a great time was had by all at the annual Simonside Hay Show on February 12.

As ever, people flocked to this unique and popular event, which saw a record number of 50 bales from farmers entered into the competition.

Both businesses and individuals gave generously with gifts and pledges, making more than 150 in total, for the charity auction, which rounded off the afternoon.

Chairman Jamie Whicker said: “Everyone knows that Simonside Fair and Hay Show exists principally to support Northumberland-based charities and good causes.

“All of our profits every year go to these groups so people are always keen to support our efforts, and we’re really grateful to them for that. Huge thanks are also due to all our volunteers and helpers.”

Visitors enjoyed stirring music from Rothbury’s Highland Pipe Band, hot food and cheering drinks from hosts at The Gate pub.

Altogether, they bid almost £500 for the hay bales alone, then more than £3,000 in donations and for the remaining pledges that were auctioned.

Winner of the 2017 Hay Show Champion Bale Trophy was Shilmoor farmer John Cowens with a superb bale of seed hay.

John has entered in previous years and won prizes, but never the overall trophy.

Runner-up was Roy Coe with an impressive round bale entry.

Thanks go to judges Lynsey Alison, Simon Bainbridge and George Graham.