Royal County of Berkshire Show 2015
PUBLISHED: 13:03 02 September 2015 | UPDATED: 13:03 02 September 2015
This amazing annual show celebrates the county’s people, livestock and traditions in town and country – with lots to enjoy along the way
For some, it’s a farmyard bursting with livestock that opens its gates to the public. For others, it’s a giant adventure playground full of fun for all the family... or a shopping experience like no other. And that’s the great joy of the Royal County of Berkshire Show as it lines up for the 2015 event on 19 and 20 September at the Newbury Showground. It has something for everyone – a 150-acre tented village where memories are made and where you can try your hand at a wide array of pursuits.
Livestock owners appreciate the show as the friendly end-of-season event for the show circuit and it regularly attracts entrants from right across Britain, with more than 2,000 animals competing.
Across the 150-acre showground, visitors will find a strong local flavour with ‘Best of Berkshire’ as a major theme for livestock (not least the Berkshire Pig), food, vintage tractors, countryside sports and crafts. In the cookery theatre, there will even be the unveiling of a new signature dish for Berkshire.
Alongside sheep shearing and oil pressing, you will find the bustle of shops and entertainment. The humming core of the showground features 600 stands selling everything from fine arts to children’s toys and from country clothing to firepits. Around the edges, vast tents are devoted to food and crafts. Local businesses abound in a shopping experience that is different each year. This year, Wiltshire businesses will be selling liqueurs and chilli products, alongside Meadow Farm, produced from hives across South Oxfordshire and West Berkshire, and believed by many to be a hayfever remedy.
The buzz continues in the main arena, where a quad bike stunt duo top the bill. The Kangaroo Kid will thrill the crowds by performing daring wheelies, rolls and jumps. Matt Coulter’s fame has been built on jumping over anything from a steamboat to a row of 14 jeeps. Another main arena attraction will be the delightful Shetland Pony Grand National, a qualifier for a national event which will be making its first visit to Newbury.
“There really is something for everyone,” says Show Chairman, George Bucknell, whose involvement spans 40 years – from exhibiting his business to volunteering, first as a steward in the country area, and then as head of the heavy horse section. “This year, we are particularly excited about our new Family Trail,” he adds.
The Trail takes children on an adventure across the showground, learning about farming and food through a series of hands-on experiences. High on many children’s lists will be the Millers Ark mini farm where they can cuddle goats, spin wool, tickle piglets, hold chicks and groom donkeys. There will also be lots of opportunities to get up close with prize-winning animals when the various livestock sections open their lines to the public.
In the popular vintage area, families will enjoy rides on a mini train and a tractor and trailer, or get behind the wheel of a mini digger, courtesy of the Young Farmers Club. Youngsters with energy to burn can try out a wide range of adrenalin-fuelled activities in the Sports Zone – from Segways to rock climbing. The neighbouring Army Zone offers yet more challenges with an inflatable assault course, as well as the Top Gear and RAF simulator rides.
There will be also a crafts corner for kids, pond dipping in the showground’s own pond – and much more. On a practical note, families will enjoy a pit stop at the delightful Acres of Fun nursery stand, with children’s toys and complimentary food for adults and children alike.
The mastermind behind the trail is Show Manager Laura Priestley-Cooper. “Our hope is that children and young people will go away with a better understanding of the countryside,” she says. “The trail complements the work of our education officer, who runs free workshops for school across Berkshire. As an agricultural society, our biggest aim is to encourage local people to love the countryside as much as we do."
• Quad bike stunts from the Kangaroo Kid
• Shetland Pony Grand National
• International Stairway showjumping
• ŠKODA Young Driver for ages 11 – 17
• Heavy horses and scurry driving
• One-of-a-kind shops and crafts
• Wool spinning and donkey grooming in the mini farm
• Apple pressing in the Harvest Zone
Need to know
• 19 and 20 September, 8am-6pm
• Newbury Showground, J13 M4
• Some free parking, bus travel available
• Big savings on advance tickets
• Box office: 01635 247155
• More information from www.berkshireshow.co.uk