Officials were delighted with the weather and the crowds turning up for their country show with plenty of added attractions. Head of News NEIL ATKINSON reports
IT certainly lived up to its billing as “the biggest one-day show in the region”.
An estimated 15,000 people flocked to a sun-baked showground at Farnley Tyas to make the Honley Show a tremendous success.
And show officials admitted they were “delighted” with the day, after incessant rain in the run-up to Saturday’s big event had caused problems.
Glorious sunshine for eight hours, a huge number of entries in many of the classes and a programme packed full of entertainment ensured their worries were groundless.
The show, which moved to Farnley Tyas in 2002 from its old base in Honley, is now firmly established as one of the best in the country.
As stunt motorcyclists delighted the crowds, president Allen Turner – resplendent in bowler hat and stick – sat outside the main arena and said: “Where else can you get all this?
“We put on a terrific family show and you can see the looks on the kids’ faces when they get the chance to get so close to cows, sheep and goats that they never normally see.
“My biggest delight is that we stick to our principles and values, with agriculture first.
“We are a country show with all the attractions that the countryside has to offer and we want to uphold those values.
“But we also try to provide a great day out for everyone, young and old, and I think this year we have done exactly that.
“The show has been a massive success. Last year we had a record year and I think once all the figures are in for this time, we will be second only to that. I’m just so pleased for all the committee and the volunteers who have done a great job.
“I stood on this field last Wednesday in the pouring rain and it was a soggy grazing field. The farmer, John Dodson, has been so good to us by making the land available and we have been blessed with the brilliant weather for the day”.
The show was a stunning mix of traditional country crafts and animal classes and fun entertainment.
A big attraction is always the cattle section, where visitors can get within inches of huge beasts from farms all over the region.
Section secretary Cynthia Osbourne said: “We had 90 entries for the show, which is tremendous, and it is great that we can allow the visitors to get right up to the animals.
“People have been able to come up and chat to the owners about their beasts and go away with a little more knowledge.”
Goat classes made a welcome return to the show after several years and attracted dozens of entries from across the country.
Assistant secretary Mrs Maxine Hagain said: “It’s the first time at Honley for a while and it is great to be back.
“It is a fantastic show and the fact that we can come here the night before and bring the milking goats makes it so much better for the competitors and for the visitors”.
There were huge crowds throughout the day for the showjumping and horse sections, spread out in fields at the edge of the site which has spectacular views across the whole of Huddersfield.
And many of the youngsters who turned up with the parents were fascinated to wander through marquees filled with rabbits, poultry and mice.
In the main arena, the attractions included a birds of prey display, a show by Colne Valley Beagles, the daring stunt displays in which a woman was set on fire and a flypast by an historic Dakota aircraft.
The show also hosted a huge “village” of trade stands, including the Examiner, where goodie bags were given away.
Many visitors were content to wander around in the sunshine, topping up on ice-creams and beers, while the children’s section of bouncy castles and fairground rides was thronged for much of the day.
Stuart and Louise Dobson, of Thurstonland, had made the short walk to the show with daughters Polly, three, and Nina, one.
Stuart said; “We came last year and loved it. There is a lot for the children and there is always something going on.”
Janet and Michael Robinson, of Holmfirth, were enjoying the dog agility show with children Laura, three, and Sophie, 17 months. Michael said: “It’s our second visit and it is a great day out.
“The kids are having a great time.”
Helen Simpson, of Highburton, was with her extended family and said: “We try to come each year and always enjoy it.
“I go to the Great Yorkshire Show, but it’s wonderful to have something like this on our own doorstep that we can all enjoy.”