Let’s start with a bit of History - This year the show begins its 175th year, formed in 1840 the year that Thomas Hardy was born, Cunard Ships launched a transatlantic Shipping Line, the Penny Black Stamp was issued and a group of local farmers advertised the 1st Annual Exhibition on 6th August 1840; forming The Dorchester Agricultural Society.
So little has changed and yet everything has changed – it is still mainly run by farming families and those with an interest in farming, horticulture, food and the countryside. Competitions bring out the best from the area to challenge for the cups, trophies and awards. Food and Drink are abundant in all corners of the showground, entertainment is laid on and best of all it becomes one big social event for Dorchester and Dorset; nothing really has changed!
What can we see and do: Well get up early, it is a long day and lots of rest stops needed. Travel by foot from the town and station, come by bike, local buses bring you to Greys Bridge less than 150 metres form the showground. By horse, umm…. Not sure that is such a good idea! Motorbikes allowed into the car parks and of course very persons favourite by car……… bring friends and make up a car load, car parks get full – BUT ITS WORTH IT. Traffic at peak times can be horrible, the show improves traffic flow every year as the crowds grow, please be patient we do try our best; after all we don’t want you missing a single moment either! Leaving the showground can have traffic hold ups too, rest a while and let it all move on, watch the last moments of the show and if you can see people rushing for the exits – traffic jams will follow.
Food and Drink can be purchased all over the showground, but nobody minds if you bringing a picnic either. Toilets are carefully situated in key places, we think they are easy to find! Of course disabled and baby changing facilities are supplied too. Lost children (& Grannies and Grandads) get taken to the Creche and for the older ones to the Secretary’s Tent. Try not to panic, announcements are made if a little one is found!!
Farm animals: be careful around the farm animals, some might bite but all are beautiful and each animal that is shown is pampered by the farmer owner; farmers and stock people love animals, sometimes more than humans! From huge bulls to small rare breed sheep – chickens, pigs and goats too. The best farm animals are here to compete and be displayed. Please wash your hands after visiting any animals, it is best practice and after all you will want clean hands for that ice-cream or tasty snack.
Tractors Galore, red, red and black, green, light green, green and yellow, orange, blue, black and some that can be any colour you order – they are all here in various sizes and prices. Farming still remains central to the show, the county and without farmers there would be no food!
Homecraft and Horticulture tents are a rarity outside of Dorset and the West Country – but here at the Dorset County Show they thrive and every year grow just a bit more – don’t miss out, anyone can compete, honestly it is not complicated, fill in your name for a schedule and we send you one! Children in particular get such fun from entering competitions and the seeing if they have one….. go on – have a go. Did you know that you can buy bulbs and find out about seeds for next year’s Spring Flower Show and the Annual County Show?
Horses & Ponies are a major part of any show – Here at Dorset County are several Dorset Finals plus qualifiers for Horse of the Year Show, so you just might be looking at a National Winner in the making. Carriage Driving is a hugely expensive hobby – but to see a coach and four with everyone in their finest outfits is a spectacle to behold; scurry racing on the other hand is mad, mad and more mad – but has to be watched. Show Jumping is still a graceful sport over jumps that you think are impossible, this takes place in the horse area and the main ring, don’t miss watching these great animals jump the impossible.
What’s left – well … vintage cars, fun fair, food halls, cookery demonstrations, shopping in the avenues, beer tents, craft stands, the latest cars, rabbits, bees, cavies, country sports such as ferret and terrier racing (separately of course as the terriers would not fit through the tubes!), sitting and watching the White Helmets display twice per day and Titan the Robot may be back, look out around every corner! Visit the peaceful lake side area and all the countryside activities. Will there be Balloons like there used to be? well it could happen, no promises but we all want them back once again, such a start and finish to a show day!
Last of all, it is compulsory to smile, ask questions if you want to know the answers – those running the show either wear white coats, Bowler Hats, Stewards Badges or sometimes have a metal badge on saying Chairman or Vice-Chairman or even President or Deputy President; all give up a lot of time to make sure the County has a great County Show; you could always say thank you and watch them smile!
Have a happy and fun filled Show, meet up with friends and we hope you enjoy it because we do.
President, Cllr. Tom Barlett; Deputy President, Mr. John Chilcott;
Chairman Mr. Wakely Cox & Vice Chairman, Mrs. Rebecca Hill.
31% discount for early bird tickets until 1st August 2015. Only £11 per person; children under 16 go free. Buy online today, or buy your tickets at one of Dorset's Tourist Information Centres.
Richard Cuzens, Show Secretary
1st July 2015 10:00:00