After an enforced absence of two years, the Hesket Newmarket Agricultural Show is back at last on Saturday 3rd September, and everyone is looking forward to its return!
First established in 1877, the Hesket Show (as it’s usually called) has taken place each year since then with the exception of the two World Wars, the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak and then Covid-19. It is a traditional Cumbrian show, aiming to showcase the finest of agricultural traditions; it gives the farming community the chance to exhibit what they breed and grow, and gives the public an opportunity to see all this. It brings the whole community together, whilst set in an idyllic country setting under the gaze of the Northern Fells. Strong on native-breed sheep and speciality cattle, fell ponies, heavy horses, sheepdogs, gundogs and even pets with many children’s events and competitions, it’s a very social event, too.
Naturally, the beer tent, run by Si and his team at The Old Crown and featuring a special Show Ale from the brewery, is a hub for socialising, as is the lunch tent where Sue at Denton House provides her wonderful catering. There are also tailgate parties scattered around, where families sit on the haybales that mark out the showground, sharing food and drink with old friends – and meeting new ones, too!
The show continues throughout the day, with judging competitions for each class of livestock and horses; the sections for handicrafts, horticultural, baking and produce, photography and art; children’s classes and fancy dress. Later on, the show ground is filled with the unique sport of Cumberland wrestling (sponsored by the brewery), terrier racing, and the semi-controlled chaos of the pet dog racing – everyone’s favourite event; few of the dogs have any clue what they are supposed to be doing and chase each other frantically around the field with their owners hopelessly running after them. Calm and order are restored with the vintage vehicles’ parade, then disappears again with the children’s Tug of War before the day ends with the now-thoroughly-muddied children helping to clear up the field.
Strangely, many people find themselves drawn back to The Old Crown in the village where the show finally, truly comes to its perfect, thirst-quenching end.
The Hesket Show is always a great day out (even when it rains)!