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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Westmorland County Show

THOUSANDS of people turned out for the 213th annual Westmorland County Show.

Despite the cool weather and constant threat of rain, crowds flocked to what is recognised as one of the region’s premier agricultural events.

With several other shows in the area having been cancelled this year due to bad weather, the organisers had to put a notice on the website saying the show would go on in spite of the rain the days beforehand.

And although the afternoon showers drove some people to the exits, hundreds of umbrellas covered Lane Farm, near Milnthorpe, as people were determined to make the most of the day.

The popularity of the show was evidenced by the length of the queues to get into the car park. There were also lengthy waits at times for food stalls and the toilets.

But nobody was complaining as they braved the elements to watch events including wrestling, falconry displays and lumberjack competitions.

Christine Knipe, chief executive of the Westmorland Show, said: “It was fantastic. You just can’t say anything other than that – it has been wonderful.

“We are delighted with the number of people who turned out to support the event and the industry.”

She said she had yet to receive the official entrance figures but that she was hopeful the turnout was approaching the all-time record of just over 30,000.

One winner on the day was Jim Johnson, of Bandrake Head, near Ulverston.

His prize duck won the rosette for Fowl Champion and then scooped up the coveted Champion of Show prize.

He said: “I have won it before but I am happy to win. This is one of the best ducks I have ever had.”

Also celebrating their success on the day were Grange-based butchers Higginson’s.

Judging the food entries was Belinda Allen, of Hawkshead, who said they had to beat out some stiff competition.

“It was fantastic,” she said. “The standard was so high.”

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “I love the Westmorland Show. The weather is not normally this bad at all.

“I think the best thing about it is that it is rural show but there is everything here – every part of rural life.

“This is Westmorland come to life in one place.”

He added that he had enjoyed the chance to see and talk to so many people.

He said in a normal day he might see around 60 people but in just a few hours he had spoken to more than 500.

“We have got a lot of great shows but this one is comfortably the best,” he said.

“It shows our pride in rural life.”

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