PICTURES: Cameron helps North Devon celebrate agricultural roots
It couldn’t have been a sharper contrast.
Last year the North Devon Show venue at Umberleigh was a rain-sodden mire, forcing the event’s cancellation.
But this year, glorious sunshine – and a VIP visitor in
the form of the Prime Minister – was the order of the day as bumper crowds turned up to enjoy the best of rural life.
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The vice-chairman of the show, Malcolm Yeo, said it was a good day.
“Farming is on the up and there is a buzz around the ground because of that,” he said.
The weather had caused a few concerns at the start of the week, he added, but it had turned out well.
“We were a bit worried with the rain on Monday – there were puddles everywhere – but it is lovely.”
The North Devon Show is the area’s premier agricultural spectacle and a celebration of its agricultural roots.
A host of livestock classes occupy the arenas throughout the day with cattle, horses, alpacas, sheep, showjumping and an open dog show.
As well as animals of all shapes and sizes, a craft gallery in the marquee saw a heathy trade, as did the food hall.
Meanwhile an arcade featured stands with local schools, charities and businesses, attractions, displays, demonstrations and trade stands for all.
As well as the Prime Minister, another famous face was in evidence.
The Man of Exmoor, self-styled “poacher-turned-gamekeeper” Johnny Kingdom, was at the show working on the Exmoor Zoo stand.
He spoke about his passion for the event, which he said could easily occupy two days on the calendar.
“I love the North Devon Show,” he said.
“It should be two days really, I’ve always said that.
“Look how many people are here. With this volume it really should be two days.”
Among the delights on offer in the food marquee was award-winning fudge made by Suzie Smith, from Yelland, who turned her hobby into the business Suzie Sweet Tooth four years ago.
“The recession hit and I had just finished my previous job. Now I make 1,300 bags of fudge a week,” she said.
Liberal Democrat MP for North Devon Sir Nick Harvey was also out enjoying the fun.
He said it was a superb event.
“It’s a very good show and we’ve been lucky with the weather,” he said.
“The organisers have done
a really good job and it’s great to see it back after it was rained off last year.”