It’s fair to say that Glendale Agricultural Society’s annual show is one of the highlights of the Northumberland summer. It was newbie reporter Michael Pearson’s first time covering the event and here’s 10 things he learnt.
ONE: The earlier you get there, the better
I don’t think the phrase ‘early bird catches the worm’ has ever applied so much before. I landed at about 11am and the roads were packed, Our more experienced photographer arrived about 9am and had a space right at the front. Definitely get there early, you can even reserve a nice little picnic spot next to the main ring.
TWO: There were 419 entries in the sheep class alone
No, I’m not making that up. This year, there were 79 classes in the sheep section and, with an average of around half-a-dozen entries per class, it all adds up to a whopping show. By comparison, there were 16 cattle classes and only eight donkey classes.
THREE: The best class was ‘best funny hat’
We’re not making this up either. The donkey class included ‘donkey wearing the best fancy hat’. There were 12 entries.
FOUR: There were some absolutely hilarious animal names
Obviously, naming an animal is a pretty important part of showing but there were some hilarious names. These included one horse named Spearmint and another called Chardonnay. There was also Rumour Had It, I wonder if the horse was an Adele fan?
FIVE: There was a lot of food
For a show that was all about the animals, food almost took centre stage. As if the tent full of Northumbrian delicacies wasn’t enough, there were several food venders, including a place selling stone-baked pizzas.
SIX: A lot of people wear badges
Even we had to wear badges. They’re called official distinctive badges – the president wears a red one, vice-presidents wear bottle green and members wear gold.
SEVEN: There’s a lot of rules
Each entry has to understand the rules but there’s a lot of them. They basically cover everything from how long you’re allowed to keep the trophy, right through to how many days you need to apply scab product on sheep.
EIGHT: There’s even a rule on disease
There’s a full section on disease in the rules and it’s costly if you fall foul of the rules. If someone enters livestock ‘suffering under any contagious or infectious disease’ they will have to ‘forfeit and pay to the Society the sum of £50,’ for liquidation.
NINE: Putting on a show is expensive
One of the organisers told me it costs more than £7,000 just for the fencing around the main ring.
TEN: Glendale Show was pretty much the only place that didn’t get rained on today
Although there were a few patchy-cloud moments, the show managed to stay dry and it certainly made a difference. Even down the road in Alnwick had a few drizzly spells. It seems that the sun wanted to see all the action at Wooler as well.