2015 Cheshire County Show - photo special

Louise Campbell of Ox Eye Daisy

Louise Campbell of Ox Eye Daisy - Credit: Archant

HRH Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, enjoyed this year’s Cheshire County Show every bit as much as the 80,000 members of the public who thronged the Tabley site

Paul Taylor and Louise Taylor meet HRH, The Countess of Wessex, GCVO President, The Cheshire Agricul

Paul Taylor and Louise Taylor meet HRH, The Countess of Wessex, GCVO President, The Cheshire Agricultural Society - Credit: Archant

Fabulous weather and a record turnout made this year’s Cheshire County Show one to remember. Over 80,000 people enjoyed the two-day event at the huge Tabley showground, where there was plenty for the whole family to see, from impressive agricultural beasts to around 600 trade stands, to food and drink and, of course a wide range of competitions.

HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the President of Cheshire Agricultural Society, was in attendance on both days, enjoying the same attractions and sights as the general public, plus some fine hospitality with dignitaries in the VIP areas. She strolled around chatting to local farmers and food producers and traders from farther afield.

Tony Garnett, chairman of the Cheshire Agricultural Society, said:‘The combination of wonderful weather, a Royal visitor and a great show resulted in a fantastic attendance over both days. One of the things that makes the Cheshire Show so successful is the hard work of the many hundreds of volunteers who help behind the scenes. I would like to say a big thank you to them and record how much their contribution is appreciated.’

The Cheshire Women’s Institute in particular had a great time as they were celebrating their 95th birthday. The WI as a whole are in their 100th year, so it was double the reason to celebrate in their impressive marquee. Over seven miles of bunting adorned the space, handmade by various Cheshire branches of the WI and designs depicted what each one does.

‘Members keep on saying how fantastic it looks,’ said Jean Harding, vice chairman of Cheshire WI. ‘We also have banners around the room showing what we’ve done since 1915.

‘Our stand illustrates what’s happened to women for over 100 years,’ added Zeta Emmett from the Willaston Hey branch. ‘From resolutions and public events, we’re showing people how we made a change and campaigned for it.’

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From veteran visitors to first timers, we spoke to Sam Marlor and her British bulldog, Toyah, after she was awarded third place in the prettiest bitch class. ‘It’s the first show for both of us,’ said Sam, who lives in Nantwich. ‘I’ve had Toyah for six weeks and she’s a rescue dog. She’s got a great personality. My aunt does a lot of showing with bull mastiffs so I thought I would have a go. We’re definitely coming back next year!’

Pupils from St John’s CE Primary in Sandbach were also proving their first timer credentials at the bandstand. Students Jessica, 11, Poppy, 10 and Bianca, 11, spoke of their excitement before singing in a choir to a charmed audience enjoying the sun on the grass.

Strolling over to the cattle rings, we spotted a confident young competitor doing his best to win a prize. Jake Daley, from Tarporley, was even wearing a good luck charm - his great-grandad’s cap. It seemed to have done the trick, as for the second time that day he was placed, this time winning first in the young handler’s category.

‘It’s exciting,’ said Jake, eight, who has been handling cattle since the age of four and wants to become a farmer like his dad. ‘I will come back next year to hopefully win again.’

Nigel Evans, Cheshire Agricultural Society’s executive director, added: ‘It’s safe to say that this year’s show has been one of the best yet. Thank you to everyone who came and supported the show and I hope they enjoyed it as much as we, the organisers, did. See you again next year.’

Royal appointment

Cheshire Life was delighted and honoured to be the only representative of the media to be invited to the President’s Luncheon and personally introduced to HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex GCVO.

Editor of Cheshire Life, Louise Allen-Taylor, chatted briefly to HRH Sophie during a drinks reception in the VIP marquee on the first day of the show.

‘Sophie was very friendly and clearly pleased to be back at the Cheshire Show. She mentioned that it had been a couple of years since her last visit to Tabley but that she was glad that this time she could stay for both days.

‘Sophie wore a chic beige summer coat and underneath we could just glimpse a navy dress with white trim. The weather was pretty scorching but unlike most of us she didn’t wilt at all and kept her coat on.

‘What most impressed me was her knowledge of modern agricultural issues and practices. Her speech at the lunch showed her to be well-informed and caring about the farming community.’

After the drinks reception, around 130 guests enjoyed a lunch showcasing local farmers’ produce and ingredients, including Delamere goats’ cheese, marinated free range chicken, Cheshire potatoes, followed by lemon tart and red fruit compote.