120th West Mid Show being held on June 27 and 28 in Shrewsbury

Posted: 05/06/2009

 

Organisers of the West Mid Show are gearing up for an event to remember with anniversary's being celebrated, record livestock entries flooding in and amazing entertainment to wow the crowds.

The 120th anniversary show will take place on June 27 and 28 at the Berwick Road showground in Shrewsbury.

 

Annie Home-Dodds, the event's first ever lady chairman, said: "What a unique show this year's will be, being the 120th in our long history and particularly special for me personally as I have the honour of being its first lady chairman.

"This year sees the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin, born and brought up in Shrewsbury it seems natural that we should celebrate this connection with the show and therefore we have christened the new Shropshire on Show and Food Hall the ‘Darwin Pavilion'.

"The link spreads further as we have the joy of having the well-known professor David Bellamy as our President, I am sure he will add colour and great interest to the show and all who meet him.

"As this is a county agricultural show you may well expect to see some of the best livestock and bloodstock in the country – and you will; we have some 800 horses, a comprehensive entry of native continental breeds of cattle and sheep, also you will see a fine array of traditional and hybrid pigs."

 

Peter Jones, cattle chairman, said: "Blue-tongue and TB restricted a lot of exhibitors last year but now that they are under control we have got more exhibitors here, who last year were unable to move their cattle to the show.

"We have had an increase in cattle by at least 30 per cent this year. Up to this date we have over 400 cattle entered in the show of all breeds.

"Returning to the show after blue-tongue and TB are the Welsh Blacks and the Dexters. Most important of all the Herefords are back, we have 100 Hereford cattle alone coming to the show."

 

Hazel Loftus, chairman for the Women's Institute West Mid Show committee, said another anniversary will be being celebrated this month.

She said: "It is the 90th anniversary of the Shropshire Federation. Around our marquee we are going to start at one side, and in order of opening, we are going to have little flags for each WI group all the way round, starting off with Edgmond, which started in 1917 and finishing with the latest group, Dale End Lite, which started this year.

"There will be 133 flags together with a banner. It is a big thing for us and we are trying to make the marquee a real celebration."

There is also a new class this year for the WI after former chairman Rosemary Hamilton donated a rosebowl. The Best in Show Cookery class will make its debut for 2009.

 

And visitors to this year's event will also be treated to a fashion show twice a day, being put on with the support of local businesses including Jaques Vert, Chequers, Innocencia, Wysteria Lane, Fat Face, and Women in Mind.

 

Leighann Kirby, co-ordinator of the fashion show, said: "Most of the models are students from local schools and colleges but the age range goes from three to 63.

"We are doing it to showcase some of the shops in Shrewsbury, we wanted to get clothes to suit all age ranges. Essensuals will be doing the hair for the models as well and the show will involve some walking and some dancing."

 

Alan Ball, Food Hall chairman, said there will be plenty of delights to keep visitors mouth's watering this year.

He said: "I think Shropshire has more than its fair share of good local produce and this is one of the premier events, other than food fairs, where they can promote their goods and wares.

"The majority of our producers are from Shropshire or a connecting county because we can get a good supply of locally produced food whether it be smoked, fresh or otherwise, and there are plenty of food accompaniments too."

 

One piece of entertainment, new for 2009, that is set to draw the crowds is a paintball tournament.

Paintball Events UK will showcase some of the UK's top international paintball competitors.

And commercial director Gary Tudor and show vice-chairman Neale Sadler decided to give it a go to see whether it lived up to all the excitement.

After a paintball shootout on the Berwick Road showground Mr Sadler said: "I am going to love it, I think it is great fun and it is something that a lot of people want to have a go at.

"And it will be great for people to watch." 

 

Zoe Mills, Joel Tolhurst, Lydia Blackstock and Emma Rogers prepare to entertain the crowds with a fashion show.

Zoe Mills, Joel Tolhurst, Lydia Blackstock and Emma Rogers prepare to entertain the crowds with a fashion show.

 

Food Hall Chairman Alan Ball shows off some of the produce that will be tempting visitors on show days.
Food Hall Chairman Alan Ball shows off some of the produce that will be tempting visitors on show days.

 

Commercial director Gary Tudor and show vice-chairman Neale Sadler try out the paintball experience.
Commercial director Gary Tudor and show vice-chairman Neale Sadler try out the paintball experience.