2015 Nantwich Show - photo special

Nantwich Show

Nantwich Show - Credit: Archant

From a record amount of cheeses to magnificent Shire Horses in the main ring, this year’s Nantwich and South Cheshire Show was as great a spectacle as ever. Words by Rebekka O’Grady

Strolling around the showground, there is a real buzz in the air. From excited children pulling their families from stall to stall, proud competitors parading their winners around the agricultural rings and visitors tucking into piping hot food from the many food vans – the Nantwich and South Cheshire Show was in full swing.

We bump into a very happy five-year-old Esme Hughes, who is proudly holding an Argentinean tropical screech owl called Aqua from the North Wales Owl Sanctuary. But this isn’t her first time: ‘I’ve held owls before, they’re really cute! I’m having fun. We’re going to see the chickens and the pigeons next.’ Esme’s mum, Phoebe, explained that their own horses used to compete here, but now each year she brings her family from their home in Crewe just for the fun of it.

Mayor of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Hilda Gaddum, agrees. Hilda, who lives in Macclesfield, says the show is great fun and she loves coming back to it: ‘I am a member of the WI, so I used to come here years ago to help at their market. It’s a great privilege to be invited back.’

From horses to honey and cows to carrots, there’s a category for everyone to compete in at the show. You don’t have to be a professional either to have a good go at claiming a top prize. John Bebbington, from Crewe, was awarded first prize for his giant cabbage. ‘It’s just a hobby,’ exclaimed John, who said his father was a good vegetable grower. ‘I don’t quite know why I started. I am now training my grandson, who is also here and won Best in Show for his potatoes in the junior classes.’

This isn’t the first time that young Ayden, 7, has had a taste of glory. The keen vegetable grower was awarded Best in Show last year and has been a prize winner at RHS Tatton. ‘We’re very proud,’ continued John. ‘He’s being growing since he was three years old. He’ll be a veteran show-goer before we know it!’

Robert Eardley, president of the Nantwich and South Cheshire Show, said:‘Our show offers something for everyone, the best of British farming coupled with a full programme of entertainment. We are particularly grateful to all our generous sponsors, the trade stand and livestock exhibitors and the show officials and stewards - without who the prestigious show we had today would not have evolved.’

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The show, together with the Nantwich International Cheese Show, both rank as one of the best of their type in the country. The cheese show now holds the world record of 4,611 entries from 31 countries around the world.

The team at Belton Cheese were especially thrilled with the results, scooping among others 16 gold and six trophies, including the National Westminster Trophy which is presented to the manufacturing exhibitor winning the highest number of points overall. ‘We are delighted to win so many awards,’ said Alison Taylor, marketing manager at Belton, Whitchurch. ‘Especially to win the National Westminster Trophy five years on the run – it’s a great team effort.’

Another Cheshire company seeing gold was Delamere Dairy. Along with a selection of gold, silver and bronze medals, the Knutsford based dairy was awarded the The Old Amsterdam Award for the best Dutch cheese and The Capital H Challenge Cup for their Goats’ Cheese Log with Honey. ‘It’s a fabulous show,’ said Liz Sutton, founder and director of the company. ‘We came here 30 years ago after I started making cheese in the kitchen and have come every year since.’