THIS year’s Barrowford Show pulled out all the stops - even if a brolly did have to be pulled out, -yet villagers concluded that it was a marvellous way to spend a rather dismal day.
Despite a mixed bag of weather, the show did go on and provided a truly spectacular montage of entertainment with everything from fire stunts to show jumping to tugs of war.
The scores of visitors who descended on the show were always going to be in for a treat but nothing could have prepared them for the stuntman Mark Stannage who quite literally went up in flames as he dived off podiums, ducked under barriers and darted around the show’s main ring with his fiery performance.
Numbers were on a par with last year and the show welcomed hundreds of families from across Pendle for the 85th show that is now a long standing and proud village tradition.
And although sponsorship was down on last year, organisers made sure that all entertainment and activities galore was not!
Spread over four sites and setting up camp at Barrowford Park, Bull Holme Playing Fields, Barrowford Cricket Club and Swinden Playing Fields there was something to cater for all ages and a tent to shelter in when the heavens opened.
Show chairman Mrs Maria Midgley praised the committee for all their efforts in making the show possible and thanked the sponsors and attendees for their continued support.
“We have a very small committee and this year it has been quite difficult both financially and with sponsorship.
“The show costs between £16,000 and £20,000 and without the kindness and generosity of people it just would not be possible for us to do this.
“People give up a lot of their time and we are always looking for new ideas and new people to join the committee.
“Horticulture was back and remarkably we had over 100 entries and for a re-introduction it was fantastic. Children’s activities has done well and also showjumping.”
The horticulture section was indeed welcomed with open arms and saw a great and varied display of floral bouquets and designs and of course the weird and wonderful creations! Flowers, vegetables and seeds were all entered into the various categories and it was not a surprise when the giant cabbage which of course caused a bit of a stir took a first prize award.
The Nelson Brass Band and Jazz Wanders leisurely patrolled the show with their entertaining sounds while the Derby Midshipmen Carnival Display Band in sailor-inspired outfits made shapes and formations to the sounds of popular music and ballads, providing not only toe tapping but also a few jigs.
Higham singing sensation Nicole Talmer entertained crowds with her beautiful renditions of chart and past hits including Stevie Wonder and Adele but not before she blasted out her own single which is available on iTunes. The 14-year-old chorister is set for big things and recently impressed 14,000 music lovers when she performed at Towneley Live.
Town crier Coun. Tony Beckett was out in his robes and entertained with his rhymes and verses while ringing the old fashioned bell while new Pendle Mayor Coun. Nadeem Ahmed and Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson took time out to meet and greet.
Vintage car displays, motorbikes - and fire engines that needed to be pulled out of the mud by vintage tractors were all popular attractions, as were the falconry display, horses, dog agility, rare breeds of sheep and mountain bike displays.
And Mrs Midgley has promised bigger and better things for next year with show president David Horsfield adding that the attractions will step up a level.
Making another welcome return to the show was the Children’s Pet section which this year came storming back with a record 65 entries into the competition.
There were also a record number of entries in the Children’s Section and organisers praised the high standard of entries. This year’s theme for the painting and drawing classes was Barrowford Park and awards were presented by the Mayor. Section secretaries Susan and Don Sunderland thanked all the children who entered and to the sponsors who gave their support.
The Bowmen of Pendle were on hand to teach would-be archers a thing or two about hitting the bullseye and Bertie the Bee could be spotted walking and talking to his fans while representatives from Burnley Football Club showed off their nifty footwork while teaching the children some impressive skills.
The Tug of War competition saw burly men dig their heals into the ground and heave ho until the opposition were left in the mud. As usual many stall holders were out and about selling goodies and there was all sorts to be won on various raffles and tombolas.
A special mention also goes to the classic car section leader Tom Watson, who resigns after 14 years of being involved in the show.
Mrs Midgley said: “We would like to wish him all the best and thank him for all his hard work and dedication over the last 14 years.”