Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Bingley is the next town up the Aire valley from Saltaire and every year it holds a one-day agricultural show - a surprisingly large event for a small town. This year was the 131st show. It is a wonderful mix of traditional and modern, tasteful and tacky. The focal point has always been the chance for local farmers to show their livestock, and local people to enter handicrafts, flowers and vegetables into the show's 'classes' to be judged. There are numerous trade stands; it is a place for farmers and local businesses to network. But it also provides a fun day out for families, with lots to watch in the show arena - from show-jumping to clowns, stunt bikes to sheep-shearing. There is usually some kind of highlight like sky-diving too. This year there was to be a fly-past by a Lancaster Bomber from the RAF memorial flight (the same one that flew over London after the Royal Wedding) - though I didn't see that, as I had to leave before the scheduled time.
I never find it easy to get photos; the crowds mean you often can't get close enough to the action and the background is always cluttered, but I keep trying every year to somehow capture the essence of the event. At least it was a dry and bright day this year. It traditionally rains on Show day and often the park meadow is a sea of mud! I was rather taken by these cattle (Herefords, I think). I'm not sure if it was a family group or the winners in each class - but there was an enormous (though seemingly quite docile) bull, a couple of heifers and a cow with a calf.