North Northumberland’s largest rural showcase prepares for action with new classes, ringside fun and excitement, and all the skills and products of country life.
The 126th Glendale Show on August Bank Holiday Monday will bring together every facet of life in the countryside – its skills, activities and way of life – mixed together with the finest livestock, fruit, flowers, honey, garden produce, baking, rural crafts and of course exhibitors.
Rural to its roots, and probably the finest in North Northumberland, thousands of visitors from both town and country will attend on August 27th to enjoy a unique blend of showcased produce, activities, shopping, competitions and displays.
Organised by the Glendale Agricultural Society (GAS), and regularly attracting in the region of 12,000 visitors, it is undoubtedly one of Northumberland’s most popular events. Whatever the weather, the show has something for all ages to enjoy, and it is a true celebration of farming and the country.
This year a number of new competitions and classes have been introduced, and these will enhance the show’s appeal to those looking for a glimpse of traditional farming life and country pursuits.
Chief amongst these is that, for the first time ever, The English National North Country Cheviot Show will be held as part of the livestock classes. In addition to the hundreds of entries for Commercial, Continental and Native breed sheep classes, there has been a tremendous keenness for people to enter North Country Cheviots. Entries are coming from as far south as Somerset.
Andrew Walton, Show Director and one of the leading Livestock Stewards, said: “This is huge honour for us and will be one of the highlights in the Livestock section this year. It could not be held in more fitting a place, here at the foot of Cheviot. Sheep judging is one of the most popular parts of the show, and this will undoubtedly draw the crowds.”
This year with 90 sheep classes, continental, pedigree and a range and minority breeds, and 17 cattle classes it is expected that there will be a record number of entries. Added to these are the ever-popular goats and donkey entries, the alpacas and the shire horses – which all bring their enthusiasts and supporters, and the chance for families to enjoy these breeds and meet with their owners.
One of the highlights of the cattle and sheep is the Carrs Billington Livestock points competition, which awards the exhibitor collecting the most points throughout the show for coming 1st, 2nd or 3rd. During the afternoon the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced along with the Champion of Champions, awarded to the best animal in any class.
Ian Murray, Chief Livestock Steward and Organiser of the competition, said: “As a show we are always looking at ways to make sure we are getting the best engagement from the local agricultural community throughout the year.”
The other “big buzz” is always centred on the main ring and its many events. For popular entertainment, the show has engaged the astonishing talents of the Imps Motorcycle team. This talented group of red-coated young riders aged between five and sixteen, will thrill the crowds with its displays of teamwork and excitement.
As thrilling, even without an engine, are more young riders in the shape of the 3SIXTY Bicycle Stunt Team. This group can take a bike where no bike should ever be, and are the proud holders of 8 Official Guinness World Records.
For many, the mounted classes show the relationship between horse and rider as their favourite. New classes this year include a competition for “Tack and Turnout” where animal and rider are judged entirely on correct kit and presentation. Making a welcome return will also be the Equine Fancy Dress competition where the object is to turn tack and turnout on its head – in unique displays of costumes and invention.
Rachael Tait, Glendale Agricultural Show Secretary, commenting said: “Year on year we get some excellent acts set to entertain the crowds, and the Imps and Cycle Stunt Riders are no exception and the main ring is also a great collecting place for friends and neighbours to meet up and share a picnic.”
Of course for many who attend the show, the highlight is without a doubt the Horticultural and Industrial marquee. Going from strength to strength is its usual unofficial motto and this year sees a new competition, to knit a dog coat for the Bark Animal Rescue Centre in Berwick. The entries for the Industrial Section have never been stronger, and the range of local talent displayed, from flowers to photography and from cakes to quilting, demonstrates how popular hobbies and pursuits like these remain, even in the era of the mobile phone. And age is no barrier, with school children and their grandparents’ generation fully represented.
Never to be overlooked in any preview of the Show is the tented shopping mall which turns the showfield into one the largest retail experiences in the region. It is quite literally a pop up shopping arcade, for one day a year! Roll up for anything from tools to toys, crafts to cars and from fashion to speciality foods.
Chairman of the Agricultural Society, and show commentator for many years is Ronald Barber. He says: “This is without doubt one of the finest days out in the North. With tickets at £12 when purchased in advance, and children free, this is an undoubted bargain for a day’s worth of entertainment and education. Membership at £25 is also good value, as it includes many extras on the day – like forward parking and a members’ tent and enclosure, and access to the annual program of Society activities.”
Essential to the success of the show year on year is undoubtedly the sponsors, without whose generosity the show would struggle to exist. Each year the show costs in the region of £100,000 to stage and this would not happen without their support.
Show Secretary, Rachael Tait said: “We are hugely grateful to all of our sponsors, both longstanding supporters and those getting involved for the first time. Sponsorship funds so many things from banners to exhibits, classes to prizes, and without their kind generosity, the Glendale Show would certainly not be the scale it is today.”
In addition during the day, entertainment around the showground will include:
- Falconry Display
- Foxhound display
- Rural crafts
- Countryside marquee
- Craft marquee
- Speciality food marquee
- Vintage machinery
- Chainsaw carving
- Live music
- Children’s entertainment
With the backdrop of the Cheviots and access directly from the A697, the show provides a stunningly picturesque experience for everyone. Dogs are welcome and their owners can even enter them in the Companion Dog Show on the day, with entries taken from 12 noon onwards.
The gates for Glendale Show open at 9am on Bank Holiday Monday August 27th. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at a reduced rate.