08th May, 2019
For many years the Show has been England’s only four-day agricultural event, but the Society feels that the time is now right to consolidate it into three days. “We have been considering the duration of the show for a number of years,” explains chief executive Rupert Cox. “We have consulted with our key stakeholders; traders and exhibitors, and have responded to their concerns with regard to servicing a four-day show, which we know is becoming a challenge for many of them.
“As a 240-year old agricultural charity it is imperative that we continually evolve,” he adds. “We see this as a great opportunity to enhance the Show to make it even more relevant to our visitors while maintaining the integrity of our heritage, and we will continue to provide a nationally renowned competitive platform for livestock, horses, cheese, cider and the array of other competitions we host.”
The Society proposes to hold the event in the same Whitsun week that it has done for many years, but to run from Thursday 28th May to Saturday 30th May 2020. “We believe that we will be able to improve the quality of our wonderful Show while increasing the content for our loyal visitors.”
Cattle and sheep exhibitor Vicky Smith reckons taking the Show to three days is a great idea. “Although the Show was spread out well over the four days, that extra day really does make a difference,” she explains. “For us it means an extra day off work, which is lost income, while for exhibitors that pay staff it will be a saving. I think it may encourage more exhibitors.”
Garden and agricultural equipment dealer SJH Machinery agrees. “We have been saying for a couple of years now that the Show would be better over three days,” says managing director Steve Hale. “Taking four days out of the business at what is the height of our season can be particularly challenging.”
Sheep exhibitor Jock Muirhead is similarly supportive. “Reducing the show to three days would be a good saving for our business; livestock staying for four days is a big strain on resources at home,” he says. “Shows are a great shop window for our business – the new proposal will create a greater showcase for the livestock industry. Out of the numerous shows we compete at we find the Bath & West to be the most helpful and cleanest, with the best facilities and a child-friendly relaxed atmosphere.”