Arriving at the showground by bus – which was free, I was greeted with rather long queues to purchase my ticket but the show is only just one day. A HUGE amount of work clearly takes place weeks before show day. Everyone was in a good mood. Toddlers, teenagers, parents and grandparents, there was something for everyone.
Taking a look inside the competition marquee, the classes included vegetables, fruit, floral decoration, homecrafts, preserves, wines & cordials, handicrafts, art, photography and the children’s classes.
The standard was high. The marquee was buzzing, with young and old searching for their award – 1st, 2nd, 3rd or maybe a Highly Commended, and many just looking at the artistic and creative exhibits. Some of the exhibitors were extremely young, and extremely talented.
Gamegoer’s Gundog Show drew a huge crowd, where ‘Missy’ stole the show! Keeping close to her Master, she retrieved and played at her Master’s request. These well trained dogs (a quick demonstration of how to teach you dog to ‘stay’) were eagerly watched by many owners. A very alert and agile Springer Spaniel searched sniffed and found a furry tennis ball! A beautiful Pointer held its position pointing to its find (feathers on a fishing line) for at least 5 minutes. She would more than likely have continued this stance for up to 20 minutes had her Master required this of her.
A carefully organized bird of prey display delighted the crowds; and the lady standing next to me was shocked and very excited when the bird landed on her bare head!
Tantalising aromas wafted from the food halls, and take away areas; I particularly enjoyed my sausage and bacon baguette. With plenty of tables and seating areas available everyone chatted happily, whilst enjoying sounds of country music drifting across the grounds.
Moving onto the music marquee, toe tapping tunes were being played by Neon Moon – a Dorset country band – who enthralled the crowd with their professional musicalilty. As Neon Moon started the well known song Hello Mary Lou, Bill and Tricia Marklew took to the floor with some fabulous jiving, whilst others clapped, and one or two kept time with tambourines.
There was plenty of livestock at the show, and the crowds clearly enjoyed the scurrying in the main arena, together with eventing later in the afternoon. There were some extremely clean and polished cows and bulls on show, farmers and workers alike ensuring best behaviour from these huge farm animals and rosettes were awarded for the best in show.
Dorset’s Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show was a great success and I am sure there will be many more to come.