Crowds Turn Out For The Shropshire County Show.

Shropshire County Show
West Midland Showground
25 May 2013

Foot sore, hot and exhausted I make my way home from this year’s agricultural extravaganza with a contented smile and here I am now flopped in front of my PC to tell you all about the day.

Uncharacteristically for Britain the sun came out to peep at the fun and anyone who may have followed my previous advice that a mack and wellies might be necessary; were probably cursing me uphill and down dale, as it was ridiculously hot and the last thing anyone would want is a huge coat to carry and boots that roast the feet.

So with Ice Cream vans and cold drinks stalls working overtime to serve the crowds the 2013 Shropshire County Show was underway.

The day begin with the judging of the Heavy Horses and one can’t fail to feel humbled by seeing the gentle giants in their best party gear. I feel a warm nostalgic sense of a lost idyll, only to remember that I wasn’t actually there when horses were used. However one is always tinged with a little sadness for that slow pace of life that we lost. However this historical scene was neatly juxtaposed with the machinery, implements and tools, that go towards making modern day agriculture just so high-tech. Tractors and Combines standing in neat roads brand new and shiny.

So we come to the main arena. If there was any criticism it would be levelled at the main arena. There was a little too much chat on the tannoy and there was a general sense of chaos that might have been avoided with slightly tighter planning. The main arena should be strongly stage managed, timings should be tight and the announcements should be short and informative. That was an area that could have used some more intensive attention.

That said the arena was the main source of entertainment and the North Shropshire Hunt were particularly impressive with their dogs and horses together setting another beautiful scene. The Young Farmers from all over the county were there for their “It’s A Knockout,” and their float competition. The standard of the floats was fantastic and a lot of imagination, hard work and sheer determination had been employed in their construction. Brilliantly done.

Then there was the fair. Having been thrown about, spun around lifted and dropped on all the traditional fairground rides there was time to watch the tractor pull. The strength these modern beasts display is quite unimaginable and it goes to show how much power a successful farmer has to have to hand to do his job, and it beautifully illustrates just how tough and strong the old Victorian farmers would have been.

The livestock looked at its absolute best. The Herefords, The Charolaise, Holsteins and Highland Cattle were all happily demonstrating how beautiful and groomed their tails were and the alpacas just chewed and stared at everyone with aloof disgruntlement.

Just after lunch we enjoyed a “fly by,” by the Battle of Britain planes, the iconic Spitfire and the Hurricane flew in low and demonstrated their aerobatics. One realises that once the state of the nation depended on these little planes looking today, so dated and flimsy. But imagine being 21 and having control of the sky in something as beautiful as a Spitfire. Powered by the engines that were built here in Shrewsbury, of course, the classic Rolls Royce Merlin and what a distinct sound it made as it passed over followed by its closest rival, The Hurricane.

In a week where we have seen that here on the Streets of England the world is going mad, we have been rained, on snowed on and the majority of us have endured feeling the pinch financially, with all those horrors to avoid, there can be nothing better than losing yourself at and Agricultural Show where Town really does meet Country. The nostalgia and the gentle feel is neither offensive or inappropriate. It’s just family fun.

Overall the organisers of the event earn a huge thumbs up from not only “” but from the many families, friends and neighbours that poured onto the showground and soaked up the sun at this year’s Shropshire County Show. Good luck for next year.

Owen Lewis.


Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. Follow hos blogspot at

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