For the first time in 3 years, the Melplash Show was held today. This one-day agricultural show held at West Bay in Dorset is always a crowd-pleaser, especially this year with warm sunny weather and huge numbers of people eager to enjoy some rural fun.
My favourite part is the livestock classes. Snoozing pigs roused from their straw beds to scamper round the ring under the semi-control of their handlers; magnificently horned native sheep breeds and pugnacious-looking yellow Texels lined up for the judges’ scrutiny; beautifully groomed cattle ranging from a vast Longhorn bull to a tiny 8-day old Highland calf the size of a dog; and smart ponies and horses showing their paces. Then there was the shady goat tent with lots of intelligent yellow eyes following our progress, and clusters of bantams and chickens milling round their enclosure. Great to see so many children and teenagers showing their charges – a hopeful sign for English farming.
Anyway, here are a few livestock-related photos, mostly semi-abstract. As you can tell, I’m not really one for the general documentary view, though I did give you one at the top of the page 🙂
What else? Lots of craft, art and produce classes, horticultural and floral exhibits, tractors and machinery of course, vintage cars, calorific food stalls, cider and mead, ice-cream, artisan produce, professional services, charities, countrywear, a funfair, and an essential on a hot day, the beer tent. I was surprised a riot didn’t break out when all the card machines in the tent went ‘phut’ and people got to the front of the long queues to find they couldn’t pay, but we had cash so that was OK! And a big hand for “The Sheep Show” – who knew sheep were so amenable to being trained? And that’s only the bits we saw; there was lots more going on all over the vast showground.
Arrived home hot and exhausted, but happy!