We dug out waterproofs and pulled on our wellies!

Visitors wade through the drenched Centre Vale Park at Todmorden Agricultural Show
Visitors wade through the drenched Centre Vale Park at Todmorden Agricultural Show

DESPITE the deluge of rain and resulting reduced programme of events, people dug out their waterproofs and pulled on their wellies to support Todmorde Agricultural Show.

Although standing water, mud and more rain meant conditions only got worse through Saturday, spirits were high as the community spirit kicked in and with available space at a premium sections mucked in to accommodate others, and it all meant that show did indeed go on.

In addition to the weather-enforced changes there was also some consternation in the morning when a bull broke loose while being transferred from transportation box to the cattle section’s covered pen and show ring.

It ran down the length of the field and damaged a fence while owners and stewarding staff risked in jury, but they were able to eventually calm the animal down.

Retiring president Mr Peter Cryer, who with his wife Maureen received gifts of a Moorcroft vase and flowers from Todmorden Agricultural Society as thanks for their years of work, said that new president Mrs Shirley Fielder had certainly been given a baptism of fire but would do the job well.

“I am sure that Shirley will have a good presidency. She’s had a baptism of fire, but it won’t get any worse than this,” he said.

Mrs Fielder welcomed guests including Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Mrs Kate Moreton-Deakin and her husband Tony and Mayor of Todmorden Coun Abid Hussain and his consort Mr Joe Rez to the Vice-Presidents’ Lunch, and earlier had also welcomed Mayor and Mayoress of Calderdale, Coun John and Mrs Janet Hardy, to the event, one of the biggest in Todmorden’s calendar.

She said: “On Friday certain parts of the tent and the field were under ten inches of water, so we have done very well indeed to get the show on the road.”

Organisations helped pump away some of the worst of the water and community spirit had kicked in, and exhibitors, stallholders and visitors had not stayed away from the show.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported us out there, bringing all their equipment and stalls. We have worked all together.”

Some sections, including show jumping, heavy horses, driving classes and the goats were cancelled by late on Friday afternoon after examining the conditions, said show general secretary Mr Rob Goldthorpe, with the welfare of the animals of primary importance.

With tent space reduced, everyone responded to help out, said Mr Goldthorpe. “People doubled up and we moved people about to cope with the conditions, for example Todmorden In Bloom accommodating the children’s pet show and new budgerigar section.