TOURISTS learned more about the Lakeland way of life when they flocked to watch the people and animals at Hawkshead Show in 1988.

And show secretary Debbie Griffith acknowledged in return that without those 4,000 to 5,000 tourists, shows like Hawkshead would disappear.

“The local population is tiny - if the show was held in winter there would only be about 400 people here,” she said.

The changing shape of the show was also the theme of president Jean Corlett, who said that, when she first knew the show, cattle were the mainstay - and even those breeds were different from the popular breeds in 1988.

She said farmers were being urged to diversify.

That was nothing new for the hill farmers, who had for many years welcomed visitors to farmhouses, caravaners and campers and produced vegetables, to eke out a living.

Just how those farms could diversify further she was not sure, but she said they urgently needed extra income to survive.

On the show field the changing days were reflected in the emphasis on horse classes and a favourite with the crowd was the private driving.

But few would have realised that the elegant outfit driven by Ted Yarker, of Ulverston, was based on parts from a scrapped Morris Minor.

It was the first show outing for the cut-under Dannet gig, which Ted built himself, taking two months to shape the steel and make the body, which was supported by two Morris Minor springs.

Ted built the gig so that he could exercise the little pure bred hacking pony Francine, which he bought for his grandchildren to ride.

Heading the grand parade of prize winners was retired Barrow blacksmith Arthur Heighton, with his fell pony Rosewater Rachel.

Arthur, who bred the champion pony from a foal, said: "She has only been out of the prizes six times and has had five prizewinning foals of her own."