New Recruit at Show
This week the Northumberland County Show organisers welcomed Kerry Robson, of Little Black Hedley, near Shotley Bridge, as their new Show Secretary.
Mum of three, Kerry told us, “I come from a farming family so it was always a treat to come to the County Show as a little girl. I’ve been a regular visitor all my life and now bring my own daughters to the show. I’m proud to join the team that organise this fantastic event which has such a long heritage and reputation in the area.”
Kerry has worked in numerous organisations involved in agriculture, environment and rural affairs, including DEFRA and the Red Squirrel Trust. Kerry also worked alongside her brother Adam Forster at Camperdown Farm in Shotleyfield, before he sadly passed away two years ago. Kerry is no stranger to driving a quad bike around fields of cattle and sheep, and is passionate about all animals. The family have an array of dogs, chickens, ponies, Guinea pigs and other small pets that her three daughters Lauren (13), Ellie (11) and Gracie (9) love looking after.
James Wardle, Show Chairman, said “Tyndale Agricultural Society is a charity, and the show is run almost entirely by volunteers. Kerry’s role is one of only three paid positions in the organisation, so it was incredibly important that we chose the right person who had the skills, background and personality for this diverse and challenging job.”
Great Day at the Northumberland County Show
The Northumberland County Show had a fantastic turn out this year attracting over 26,000 visitors from across the country. With a 90 acre site at Bywell, near Stocksfield, packed with livestock, great family attractions, gourmet food, drink and shopping.
The Shetland Pony Grand National, supported by JS Hubbucks, was a huge hit with the crowd. There was high speed action as a dozen 8-13 year old jockeys raced over the jumps in the main ring on their little ponies. While the young jockeys were assembling, one of the show’s Principal Partners, Lintz Hall Farm Eggs, delighted the audience with their hilarious Chicken and Egg Race, involving their team dressed in professional costumes racing over the little jumps set up for the Grand National.
The farming community were out in force to see who the winner of this year’s coveted Champion of Champions trophy would be. In the line-up were last year’s winner, Gordon Gray from Selkirk with a Texel ram lamb from his prize winning flock; a magnificent Clydesdale horse, owned by Darren Willey and assisted by his daughter Katie (13) from Chopwell; Jonathon Watson’s Interbreed Beef Champion, whose family travelled from Berwick upon Tweed for the day; the two champion Alpacas; handler Bowen Whitcomb from Stagshaw Alpacas with the Champion Huacaya, and Janet Brown from Rotherham with her Champion Black Suri. But judge Ken Shield, after pondering the matter for some time, chose a pure Limousin owned and home bred by Willie Barron of Morrowedge Farm, Burnhope, as his Champion of Champions. The steer, Barrons Lascard, was sired by Mr Barron’s stock bull, Mearside Godolphin. Mr Barron told us, “This is the first time I’ve shown commercially. It’s been a fantastic day out and we’ll definitely be back.”
The public had an even better view of all the main arena action with the new addition of big screen TV this year. Event organiser, Judy Willis said, “We’re very pleased this has been such a popular development. The roaming camera provides coverage from around the show field fed to the main arena screen, and our sponsors and information points have a new communication channel to deliver news and advertising to our visitors. We’ll definitely do it again next year!”
Surveys conducted on the day indicate that the public enjoyed the main arena attraction, the Sheep Show and Birds of Prey, and were impressed by the wide range of things to see and do. Farmers noted that the quality of livestock was superb and only comparable to the large three-day Yorkshire and Highland Shows. The equestrian section commented that the ground was in peak condition for jumping and they appreciated the beautiful location. The organisers were proud that the traffic management system had gone to plan with no traffic queues once again this year, and the launch of e-tickets this year had been a big success.
James Wardle, Chairman, concluded, “Every year the show gets bigger and better. This year looks like being the best show we’ve ever had, and I want to thank all of the hard working volunteers and committee who make it happen!”