It’s showtime!!!

Is it possible that we could had the trip highlights two days into to a month long trip. Day one was spent driving up to Manchester from Heathrow but day two and three both lived up to and exceeded all expectations.

Bowes Agricultural Show

After a rare blue sky day it began raining during in the night and was pouring while we packed the car to head another twos North to attend the Bowes Show at Bowes. 

This is England after all. the drive was good and the rain did start to ease. We

decided that we would find a bakery for a late breakfast in Barnard Castle is a market town in TeesdaleCounty Durham, England. 

It is named after the castle around which it grew up. It is the main settlement in the Teesdale area, and is a popular tourist destination.

It was still raining a fine but persistent rain so it was off to purchase a pair of gumboots (wellies here) for me, Sharpy was all set in the trusty RMs. They may just be the best £12 I have spent. After coffee and a very tasty mushroom and cheese toastie it was off to the show. 


After following the signs we arrived in a what yesterday would have been a big open field with 6 to 8 inches of meadow grass and that would be all. 

Today however, they opened the gate added gatekeepers (£5 pound entry) a few marquees, portable sheep yards (wooden) seven roped off rings for horse events and there you go we have a show.  

After slipping and sliding into the parking in the adjacent field we headed in. The rain had almost stopped and the sky was lightening up so look like there was going to be a break in the weather. 

What a welcome, the gate keepers were very welcoming and gave a full run down of what to see and where to go to see it, even though it was all laid out before our eyes.  We bumped into the show president who gave us the same warm welcome. 

After chatting for a while we made a bee line for the sheep judging with a brief stop to watch the little kids and the ponies going through their paces. Oh and a quick look at the tractors Sharpy found his fathers tractor on display. 

The sheep were in two lots the registered (stud)  and unregistered (flock). 

Talk about liquorice all sorts, who’d thought sheep come in more colours than black and white or a combination of the two. Well yes they has the black the white but also blue faced, yellow, and even some with pinkish wool. 

Not treating mobs by the 1000 here

So many different breeds and not a merino not even a dorset or border which I expected. They were definitely what what we would call exotic breeds. 

It was fun to watch the judging which was the same as at home but they never once looked at the wool, conformation and muscle seemed to be the areas the judges were looking at.

After and hour of so we headed back down the hill to check out the pavilion/Marquee display of crafts, cookery and produce competition.

We detoured to a food van via the two side shows for a steak burger and chips for lunch, nary a dagwood dog to be seen. 

It was fun to watch all the little kids and their sometimes wayward ponies getting ready for their events some led some riding independently or at least going where their ponies wanted to go.

Back in the marquee which was lined with trestle tables loaded all sort of cakes, jams jellies, eggs, pies and crafted of all sorts from painted rocks to vegetable characters and the usual photography and crafts.

Handwriting Competition

Even a class for you Ruth Reid and Judie Lordan, handwriting competition, and just quietly you both would have been in the ribbons. 

The cakes were good but not up to standard of usual competitors at the Bourke and other local shows in NSW. 

There were definitely no Margaret Mitchell/ Marie Stephenson sponges to be seen. 

After almost two brief periods of weak sunshine the rain came back in and we decided to return to the car for our drive back to Manchester.

Remember that field of 6 inch meadow grass I described from earlier well it was well churned into mud and we slopped through mud up to ankles most of the day. 

The best part was watching people just treating it as any other day they were all dressed for the occasion which we were thanks to the wellies. 

After another long chat and photos taken by the gatekeeper Sharpy left him roaring with laughter with oldie but a goodie (slightly adapted) whats better than a 4 wheel drive (usually company car)…”a hire car’  after he asked if we would be okay negotiating the muddy car park (slippery but not boggy). 

Definition of wishful thinking

Not sure Avis weren’t planning on us driving their beautiful almost near mercedes around muddy fields and bouncing out along farm roads for a5 or 6 miles before joining the freeway again. 

What a great day that met all expectation and was exactly as I imagined and English County Show.

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