A LUCKY day plucked from weeks of rain, together with tip-top organisation ensured the 81st Chipping Agricultural and Horticultural Show will go down in history as yet another outstanding success.
While other events were being cancelled due to waterlogged showgrounds, members of Chipping Show's committee went to great lengths to make sure their's was not spoilt prior to the big day - all hard work paying off when thousands of folk flocked through the gates.
Saturday dawned with a cloudless sky; entries were up in virtually every section; the ground was looking good under foot and wheel and with the expanded car park and new show layout - the committee knew it was onto a winner.
"What a good day," said President John Stott as he surveyed the showground at the end of a memorable show, adding that he could not have wished for a better one weatherwise, or for the support they had received from all quarters.
Determined that Chipping will continue to "fight their corner" in the battle to keep farming and agriculture alive for future generations, he paid tribute to all who support Chipping Show, saying: "I would like to thank the community; the committee; the people who came and everyone who has been loyal to the show throughout the years, supporting us through thick and thin. Without them the countryside would die."
Chairman John Neary believed the gate could have been close to a record - possibly 6,000 - and he, too, paid tribute to the crowd, saying: "The people make it what it is. I think because of the weather and other shows being cancelled, everyone took the opportunity to enjoy a day in the country at Chipping Show because of the beautiful setting and wonderful backdrop of the Bowland hills. After the bad weather and then to come out with a day like this, we couldn't have asked for anything better.
"There has been much hard work, dedication and that extra effort to keep the showfield in good order to enable the show to go ahead."
And he pointed out that while the committee worked hard to keep the traditional values of an agricultural show alive, there was also "entertainment for all ages and tastes".
And Secretary Stan Bullock said: "It is a traditional village show which has just got bigger and bigger over the years."
Indeed, there was something for everyone, be it cattle; sheep; heavy and light horses; poultry; vintage machinery and tractors; a bumper filled cheese section of national standard which attracted actor and Coronation Street star Sean Wilson to help judge; horticulture and WI and handicraft sections; fell race; baby and dog shows; egg catching; children's sports and entertainer; farmers' produce and craft tents; grand parade; heavy turnouts; sheep dog display by Robin Dean; show lunch tent, trade stands and children's play equipment.
There was also a tug-of-war demonstration and for the first time, junior stockman competition running alongside that of the junior shepherd competition.
Cattle and sheep made a welcome return after last year's foot and mouth ban and Cattle Steward Christine Holden said she had been pleased with the quality of the animals, which was "as high as ever". Supreme champion was won by Jeff Walker from Dunsop Bridge with a pure Belgium Blue heifer and reserve champion by Kenneth Thornber from Chaigley with an Ayrshire cow which was also judged the interbreed dairy champion.
Sheep Steward Francis Mercer was also pleased with the sheep entries and said there had been "good quality all through the classes" with prizes spread out amongst a lot of different people. He said the Parkinson brothers from Dunsop Bridge had done particularly well with their Swaledales and Trevor France from Chipping had won in one of the strongest classes - with his mule gimmer lambs.
Supreme champion was won by show president John Stott with a Blue Faced Leicester ewe.
Horse Steward Louise Airey reported good entries in the light and heavy horses as well as the Shetlands, but unfortunately the working hunter classes had been cancelled due to the weather conditions.
"But all the others have been well supported," she said, adding that standards were "always excellent for such a small show" and they had also been fortunate to have "some exceptional judges".
The cheese section was "the best ever" said steward Bob Kitching, with 122 entries from as far away as Scotland and Cornwall, as well as having attracted good local support.
Two international cheese judges were joined in this section by Coronation Street star Sean Wilson who is being instructed in cheese making by Bob and who said how much he had enjoyed his visit.
"I have had some lovely cheese today, but I am obviously on a big learning curve, judging," said Sean.
The supreme champion cheese was judged to be a mature cheddar by the Davidstow Creamery from Camelford, Cornwall and the reserve champion a Double Gloucester by the Lake District Cheese Company. The best Lancashire in the show was a Creamy Lancashire by Dewlay's from Garstang and a 150 prize for the best sheep's cheese went to Greenfields from Goosnargh.
"It has been a fantastic show, fantastic weather and we now have our own cheese marquee, " said Bob, adding that Sean Wilson had been assisting international cheeses judges David Williams and Fred Taylor.
And he explained that he had met Sean - who has appeared on Celebrity Chef and who he says is "quite passionate about his food and local produce" - on Radio Lancashire and he had since visited him at the Leagram Dairy where Bob works, to learn to make cheese.
Bob believes the standard of cheese at Chipping was actually higher than at national shows, especially the Lancashires "which were outstanding". This was also endorsed by President John Stott who awarded the cheese section the president's award for the best exhibit on show day, while Chairman John Neary awarded the prize for the best trade stand to Audi.
Poultry entries were up in every section, reported Steward Stephen Rich, saying: "There have been some really good quality birds here."
They had received their biggest entry ever in the egg section and there had been a lot of exhibitors, from as far away as the Lakes, Hebden Bridge and Southport. One local winner was Mrs B Singleton from Inglewhite who had the best duck in the show.
Entries were up in both the horticultural and WI, handicraft and children's sections.
"We have done very well considering the weather," said Horticulture Secretary Annie Singleton, adding that there had also been good support for the children's classes, particularly the potatoes. Most points in the show was achieved by Jeff Rich from Chipping, who also won the most points in the flowers.
Secretary of the WI tent, Mrs Margaret Rich said they had received 120 more entries than last year and standards were "very, very good".
She said: "The flowers are good and there is some nice needlework. I think it has been a very good show."
Sixty-five entrants successfully ran the fell race, with one retiring and the first two home being disqualified after taking the wrong route.
Conditions were described as "very heavy underfoot, but visibility just right" and the winner was Alan Ward of Dark Peak. The first local runner home was John Shepherd from Goosnargh - a member of Red Rose - with a time of 1.31.09.
Once again, the show ended with the traditional, well supported egg catching competition and the winners were Jonathan Kenyon, 31, and Dominic Erdozain, 32, who used to enter the competition in their younger days and returned to the 'field' for the first time for many years. Dominic recalled having won the same competition as an 18-year-old.
Holstein Friesian: Champion - F Bamber Challenge Cup - John France. Collection of three (class 6) - Sir W Brass Cup - Helen Eastham. Winner of class 3 (best heifer in milk) - T Cowell Cup - John France.
Ayrshire: Champion - A E M Pye Silver Salver - Ken Thornber. Best Heifer - Cherry Tree Cup - Ken Thornber. Best Cow - Rosebowl - Ken Thornber.
Jersey: Champion - Jim Singleton Cup - Jim Singleton. Best Cow - W O Street Cup (class 18) - Robert Robinson.
Belgian Blue: Champion - Challenge Cup - Jeff Walker.
Limousin: Champion - Challenge Cup - W P Brewer and Sons.
A O Pure Beef: Champion - Earl of Derby Cup - D Stamper.
Commercial Beef: Champion - W Carefoot Cup - Ian Townson. Class 34 - Ashko Tankard - Ian Townson.
YFC: Best Chipping YFC - W Pye Cup - Victoria Seed and Jessica Rogerson. Best overall YFC - Sharrock Trophy - Izzy Hartley and Helen Eastham.
Dairy Interbreed: Champion - Semex Shield - Ken Thornber.
Beef Interbreed: S Bullock Cup to Champion - Jeff Walker.
Supreme Cattle Champion Rosette: Jeff Walker.
Best Exhibit by a Show member: W Pye Memorial Cup - Ken Thornber.
Best Cow in Herd Book: Stonyhurst Cup - Jeff Walker.
Mules: Best Female - A Barnes Challenge Cup - F France.
Blue Faced Leicester: Best Group - Challenge Urn - J Stott. Champion - J Stott Trophy - J Stott.
Suffolk: Best Group - Challenge Cup - W Eccles.
Swaledale: Best Group - Roebuck Challenge Cup - E and J Parkinson. Champion Swaledale Keith Curwen Memorial Trophy - E and J Parkinson.
Lonk: Best Group - R M Addyman Challenge Cup - S and P Scriven.
Gritstone: Champion - Rosette - S and P Scriven.
Jacob Sheep: Best Male - Stanley Rich Memorial Trophy - H Walsh. Best Female - Stanley Rich Memorial Trophy - H Walsh. Champion - A J Coliinson Cup - H Walsh.
Rare Breed: Champion - T E Foster Trophy - Mr and Mrs M Parkin. Reserve Champion - C Slater Trophy - Mr and Mrs M Parkin.
Texel: Champion - Society Cup - S Blakey.
Supreme Champion: Heyes Silver Challenge Cup and Society Rosette - J Stott. Most Points - Silcock and Sons Silver Challenge Cup - Mr and Mrs M Parkin. Best Inter Breed Pair - J Hayhurst Challenge Cup - J Stott.
Junior Shepherd Competition: 1 - Issy Hartley, 2 - Henry Hamlet.
Birtwistle Cup - champion light horse - Mr J Riding, Great Harwood.
Bibby Family Trophy - best veteran - Mrs K Pedley, Grimsargh.
Giles Cup - the equitation champion - Miss Victoria Bracken, St Michaels.
Kath Lloyd Trophy - the best child under 10yrs for equitation - Miss Victoria Bracken, St. Michaels.
John Potter Cup - the best family horse - Mrs S Law with Paddy, Dutton.
W J France Cup - best children's riding pony - Miss Victoria Bracken from St. Michaels with Faye Dora.
The Trish Taylor Endeavour Cup - Miss Megan Porter with Toby.
Eclipse Champion Trophy - to K Begley.
Best Foal in Show - Mrs Susan Pye from Gisland, Cumbria.
Junior Champion - to J D Kay.
Best in Show: S and E Berry.
Reserve Show Champion: David Wilkinson.
Best Hard Feather Rosette: S and E Berry.
Best Soft Feather Rosette: David Wilkinson.
Best Junior Exhibit: Jason Procter.
Best Exhibit Egg Section: G C Taylor.
Reserve Exhibit Egg Section: A Martin.
Best True Bantam - H Caunce.
Best Flying Pigeon - T Alty.
Best Fancy Pigeon - R and L Taylor.
Supreme Pigeon - R and L Taylor.
WI, HANDICRAFTS AND CHILDREN'S SECTION
Cakes and Biscuits: Mrs B Kitchin.
Preserves: Mrs B Taylor.
Handicrafts: Mrs D Lupton.
Photographs: Mr M Butters.
Flowers: Mrs M Gardener.
Children's: Ben Fletcher and Stephanie Robinson.
Chocolate Cup: Liza Jones.
Society Cup for Most Points in Section: Jeff Rich.
Major Read Cup for Most Points in Vegetable Classes: Cyril Williams.
Terry Wadeson Challenge Cup for Most Points in Flower Classes: Jeff Rich.
Mr Beard Cup for Best Exhibit in Show: John Barnes.
The David Rich Memorial Trophy for Most Points Classes 1-3: John Bentham.
The Tom Rich Trophy for Most Points in Classes 4, 5 and 6: Cyril Williams.
The Arthur Jackson Memorial Trophy for Best Tomato Exhibit in Class 16: Cyril Williams.
J D Kay Challenge Trophy for Best Exhibit in Dahlia Classes: Jeff Rich.
Mr and Mrs J Singleton Trophy for Most Points in Dahlia Classes: Jeff Rich.
The Ted Hoyle Memorial Rose Bowl for Best Rose Exhibit: C Brierley.
The Dan Seed Memorial Trophy for Most Points in Pot Plant Classes: John Procter.
Machinery: 1 - Ransomes Potato Digger, Riverside Recovery, Preston, 2 - 1940 Rack Saw Bench, Mr H Slater, Chipping, 3 - l969 Morris 1000 Farm Pick-Up, Mr Les Wright, Inglewhite.
Tractors: 1 - l962 Fordson Super Major, Mr Henry Wolfenden, Bolton-by-Bowland, 2 - Nuffield DM4, Mr Nicholas Eccles, Longridge, 3 - l959 Fordson Dexta, Mr W Pinder, Clitheroe.
Creamy Lancashire: Dewlay Cheesemakers, Garstang.
Crumbly Lancashire: Dewlay Cheesemakers, Garstang.
Tasty Lancashire: Butler's Farrmhouse Cheeses, Longridge.
Double Gloucester: The Lake District Cheese Co, Wigton.
Red Leicester: Dewlay Cheesemakers, Garstang.
Mild Cheddar: The First Milk Cheese Co, Haverfordwest.
Mature Cheddar: Davidstow Creamery, Camelford, Cornwall.
Smoked: The Lake District Cheese Co, Wigton.
Additives: Capra Products, Whittingham, Preston.
Blue: Butler's Farmhouse Cheeses, Longridge.
Goat, Sheep, Buffalo: Delamere Dairy, Knutsford.
Soft Continental Style: Dewlay Cheesemakers, Garstang.
Any Other Crumbly Variety: Dewlay Cheesemakers, Garstang.
Timothy Procter Cup for the Best Lancashire in the Show: Dewlay Cheesemakers, Garstang.
Biosystems Cup for the Best Traditional Lancashire Cheese in the Show: Dewlay Cheesemakers, Garstang.
Texel Trophy for the Supreme Champion Cheese: Davidstow Creamery, Camelford, Cornwall.
Jonathan Kenyon and Dominic Erdozain.
1 - Alan Ward, Dark Peak, 1.11.55, 2 - Mark Chippendale, Bowland Fell Runners, 1.13.00, 3 - James Baldwin, Clayton, 1.13.08.
First local - John Shepherd from Goosnargh and a member of Red Rose, 1.31.09. First Lady - Sharon McGuire, Rossendale,1.28.46.