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Sun brings out bumper crowds as Burwarton Show returns

The Burwarton Show came back with a bang on Thursday, with blazing sunshine and the usual variety of agricultural activity, displays, stalls and fun for all the family bringing the crowds out.

William Crowther, 7, from Bewdley with Mavel the giant tortoise at Burwarton Show
William Crowther, 7, from Bewdley with Mavel the giant tortoise at Burwarton Show

After a two-year break over Covid concerns, the 128th show, held at Burwarton Agricultural Showground in Cleobury North was bound to be popular.

But chairman Alan Watkins, presiding over his first show, said they were possibly set to hit an attendance record of over 20,000, with everywhere on the site busy from the time the gates opened at 8am.

Billed as the biggest show in Shropshire, it is certainly one of the oldest, with the event dating back to 1891.

Crowds at Burwarton Show
One of the stars of Burwarton Show
Will Nash, 7, and Heather Brumell, 6, from Bridgnorth with prizes they won

It is also an important part of the agricultural calendar, with hundreds of categories across a spectrum of animals from cows to sheep and horses being exhibited, with the latter having their own show ring.

Hundreds of trade stalls, demonstrations and displays of agricultural machinery also played an important part in the show, with many people fascinated by the array of tractors, ploughs and other modern and historic equipment on display.

One of the highlights of the displays was that of water buffalo recently brought by Tony Scott, of Scotty's Donkeys and Animals in Norton. People flocked to pet the surprisingly tame creatures, who arrived at Tony's popular attraction last week.

Martin Lane, from Broseley, with his 1974 Layland 1.54
The horse show
Carol Preece, Millie Sinclair, Gordon Preece and Chloe Perruzza, 11, from Orchard Valais Blacknose in Herefordshire

Mr Watkins said the aim was to cater for the agricultural scene of the county but to bring in visitors from other areas who might not normally get to see the animals.

He said: "Although I've been the chairman for three years, this is the first show I have presided over because of Covid and the two-year enforced break, and it seems the sun has brought the crowds out.

"This is a big event in the calendar. I have been involved in farming for many years and this has always been a highlight. It is a year in the planning as well because as soon as this one finishes, the hard work will start on next year's show."

Ludlow MP Philip Dunne with Ashlee Hughes and Mia Shaw ⁦
Ben Brooks and Wilfred Brooks, 3, from Bath
Nathan-James Wilsher, from Leicester, with Storm, Jet and Bonnie-Blue

Mr Watkins said he was indebted to the 400 volunteers who were needed on the day to marshal the expected 20,000 crowd, and that the without them the show would not have gone ahead.

Tamara Green, from Wolverley, brought her eight-year-old daughter Amy accompanied by her pony Ginge, 13.

She said: "It is the first time we have visited but Amy loves her horses and wanted to try out show jumping, which she can do.

"There is also so much to do for the whole day, with loads of animals on display, though the equestrian events are a highlight for us. Ginge is enjoying it as well and getting plenty of attention."

The show jumping at Burwarton Show

David Bastable and his wife Eileen had travelled from Dudley for the event and he said it gave them a chance to experience a side of life they wouldn't normally be able to see

He said: "We only have a small back garden and have to travel to get out into the countryside but this has been well worth it as there is so much to see and do, including the displays of all the animals."

Gordon and Jenny Lloyd, from Bromyard, were also first timers. Jenny, a volunteer at Attingham Park had seen a sign for Burwarton Show yesterday and the pair decided to come for the day.

They were set to enjoy the many displays in the main parade ring but one absentee was the popular Atkinson Horses troupe, with the horses suffering fly bites that had become infected.

One of the riders from the group had set up his own individual display called Ollie's Equestrian and he stepped in to fill the breach.

Also on hand was Ludlow MP and farmer Philip Dunne, who presented prizes in one of the cattle categories.

He tweeted @burwarton_show⁩, largest one day show in England. Just presented prizes to fabulous winners of Young Handlers under 12s: Ashlee Hughes, first and Mia Shaw second, both 11 years old leading Hereford cattle. Well done all, especially Tilly Moyle, aged 5!

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