Staffordshire County Show hailed a success - in pictures
Thousands flooded to Staffordshire County Show during half term despite the rain.
The mood would not be dampened for the show's 218th year as up to 65,000 visitors are estimated to have joined even though it rained on the first day and it was foggy on the second morning.
It followed on from record-breaking pre-show ticket sales. Three overflow car parks had to be opened for visitors to enjoy main attractions including the JCB Dancing Diggers.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, said: “I am delighted, I couldn’t really be more delighted.
“The forecast was quite mixed but people had fun despite the rain on the first day and on day two the fog cleared by breakfast time.
“The numbers of people coming in on both days was absolutely fantastic, on day two we were in our overflow car park and then had to open extra parking as well.
“It will be a while before we have confirmed attendance numbers but we are looking to be on par with our record years so the rain does not seem to have damped people’s enthusiasm.
He added: “We are looking to increase the educational aspect of the show too. The ‘Ask Me I’m A Farmer’ badges went down well and we will expand this in future years, aiming to answer people’s questions and ones they don’t even realise they want to ask.
“It is important that consumers understand exactly where their food comes from, from the field through the supply chain.”
During the two days the show had a number of high profile visitors who attended to talk to farmers.
Neil Parish MP, the chairman of the government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, attended to speak about the impact of Brexit on the industry as well as Rob Newbery, the NFU West Midlands regional director.
The show enjoyed the best year it has seen for many years for sheep entry numbers. Around 1,000 sheep were entered, including 90 Jacob sheep. There were around 200 pigs, 250 cattle, 1,200 dogs, 1,500 horses and ponies and 40 Boar goats.
For trade stands, virtually everywhere was sold out and Richard said the food hall could have been filled twice over.
Peter Stone, chairman of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, said the family atmosphere really struck him this year.
He said: “I am surprised how many farmers came this year, but also how many members of the public. It is lovely to see children climbing on things and itching to see displays, really enjoying themselves.
“The entertainment side of this show is equally as important, people just taking an interest and so many young people too.”
An army of around 200 volunteers helped to make the day a success by greeting visitors, guiding parking and running competition in the showground for livestock, farriers, dogs, cakes and flowers.
It takes 12 months to put the show together and organisers are already preparing for next year.