Christine Broom on The County Show
Well the ones I remember, I remember first, was at Blackwater, and that would be on the site of Newclose Cricket Club now, and I took my first animals there when I was twelve, and they were cows from the farmers that I worked for at Yaverland, and I took Bracelet and Daphne and I think we got a prize for them.
And in those days it was a hive of activity. There were lots of farmers showing their cattle and their sheep and their pigs, and there was a very large gymkhana. A lot of people came with their horses and did show jumping and there were lots of tents and they were all agricultural machinery people or tradespeople that sold seeds and fertilizers.
And there was a great big beer tent and the farm workers would come and go and have a few pints, and they would run buses past the showground quite regularly, and a lot of the farm workers were allowed to finish work early that day, say at three o’clock, so they could come down to the show and just go and have a look round, and you met all your friends there, and then latterly it moved up to the now showground which is at Northwood.
I remember when I first started showing sheep there, in the sort of early nineties, there were still a lot of farmers that took part. They had big rings where they’d parade their cattle round, and their sheep and there was a lot of horses still. Lots of tradespeople all connected with agriculture, but sadly that’s all gone now, and although they do still have a County Show as such, it’s really just a glorified gymkhana.
I think they have very few animals up there, and sadly the tradespeople that would have been numerous, are just sadly lacking now because there’s no need for them to be in existence because of the number of farmers is so many fewer than they were.
I think before Blackwater they had it at Nine Acres in Newport, but I don’t recall that. That was before my time.