New secretary and West End events pro Cat Harris is set to inject fresh energy into the show, while keeping its agricultural heart and tradition
The Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show is thrilled to announce the appointment of Cat Harris as its new show secretary and events organiser – the first female secretary in the show’s history. With an impressive background in live events, including experience working in London’s West End and corporate world, 30-year-old Cat brings a wealth of expertise and passion to her new role as she takes on the position this week.
Originally from London, Cat joined the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show team this year, inspired by her Dorset-born husband’s lifelong dedication to the event. Tom’s family are local farmers and he spent his teens volunteering at the show, embodying the deep local commitment that has made the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show a beloved tradition for local families for generations.
Cat’s desire to contribute to the show’s legacy and her fresh perspective make her a perfect fit for the role of secretary.
As she steps into her new position, Cat has ambitious plans to elevate the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show to new heights. She’s hitting the ground running, immediately starting work on the Spring Countryside Show which she’s aiming to move further away from the summer’s agricultural show theme by creating a family-focused gardening event that promises a unique experience for attendees – her vision is for Turnpike Showground to provide a diverse and engaging programme for visitors of all ages.
A show reset
For 2024’s summer G&S Show, Cat Harris intends to build on the event’s strong agricultural show heart, retaining and expanding the competitive elements while introducing exciting exhibitions and new demonstrations. She plans to revitalise the main arena entertainment, ensuring that it becomes a can’t-miss event for the entire community.
By slowly and thoughtfully exploring new directions, she aims to breathe new life into the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show while working to preserve its much-loved traditions.
She is looking forward enthusiastically to this new chapter: ‘It’s a time for new beginnings for the show. Obviously, in order to survive, the show must continue to modernise and be a commercial success. But the commitment and passion of so many people for the show is genuinely striking – so many people give up their time freely and work so hard to ensure its success. It’s a genuinely loved and cherished institution in North Dorset, and that’s what persuaded me to take on the job. We can’t lose that. I am honoured to be a part of what is an incredible community effort, and I look forward to working alongside the dedicated volunteer teams, as well as the exhibitors and attendees, to make the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show an unforgettable experience for all.’
The Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show members are eagerly anticipating the positive impact of Cat Harris’s leadership and creative approach. Her commitment to the show’s legacy and her innovative ideas promise to make future editions of the event even more exciting and enjoyable for all.
- The Spring Show will be on 20th and 21st April 2024