WHAT a day for the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show!

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The heatwave was a problem. And then the rain was a problem. But the 2022 Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show weather gods were kind; the forecasted thunderstorms never materialised, and in the end there couldn’t have been a more perfect setting.

It’s too early to say what actual numbers through the gate were, but it was simply amazing to see such an enormous crowd back at the Turnpike Showground for the first proper one-day agricultural show since 2019 (the 2021 show was planned through COVID lockdowns, and was a very different show to normal, set over two days).

Visitors certainly weren’t disappointed – between the IMPS motorcycle display team, the Lightning Bolts Army Parachute display team and (really, this was the biggest event of the day) the much-celebrated return of the Grand Parade, it was tricky to pull away from the big attractions in the Gritchie Brewing Co Main Ring. But there was so much else to see and do! The cattle, sheep and equestrian classes all needed watching. There were other acts to see such as the falconry display and Jonathan Marshall’s Spirit of Freedom show (regular readers will remember him from the Countryside Spring Show). There was dog agility and ferret racing. A signing choir. A funfair. So. Much. Food. There were more than 400 trade stands to get round (garden furniture, clothing, high street brands and local producers – it was a country high street located in a field!), plus of course the honey and bee marquee, the Wool Village for the sheepshearing…
SO MUCH to do and see!

It’s a wonderful show; and a lot of that is thanks to the fact that it never forgets that for more than 160 years it has been an agricultural show: with farming strongly at its heart, it’s a brilliant day out for everyone, whether you’re a farmer or not!

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