This past week I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Great Yorkshire Show for three days in a row, and I was ecstatic. It’s one of my favourite agricultural shows, and it’s always such an amazing time. This year was no exception and I had one of the best times of my life, which perhaps is a strange thing to say about an agricultural show, but it was honestly so good.
The first year I went I was a teenager and had just finished a set of exams, I think perhaps my GCSE’s, and we just went for the day as a family. My memories of it are actually very fuzzy, I can’t remember if my Dad was with us or not, if I’d just finished my GCSE’s then he’d have just had his stroke, and I don’t know if he’d have been fit enough to leave the hospital, even if for a day. I don’t think it was after A-Levels, because that summer was, quite frankly, a train wreck. I do remember that my best friend at the time came with us,and we got to go off on our for a bit. I think. Clearly my teenage memories aren’t that great.
The second time I went I remember a lot more clearly. It was a couple of years ago when I was at university and when I’d just started to get really into native rare breeds. The Great Yorkshire Show has examples of most breeds from most type of livestock, so for me it was a great opportunity to see some of the best examples of all of the breeds I’d become so interested in. One thing that I quickly found was that even going for all three days, and going solo so I could see everything that I wanted to see, there still wasn’t enough time to see absolutely everything that I wanted to see.
This year was no exception. I once again went for all three days, and once again managed to not see every single little thing that I wanted to see. There was just so much going on it was hard to work out the best schedule to see absolutely everything. In fact, I think it’s practically impossible, even trying your absolute best to maximise the amount of things that you do get to see. In the end it comes down to prioritising what you absolutely do not want to miss, which for me was the mini-majors show jumping class, and then working outwards from there.
The scale of the show is absolutely huge. It’s easy to get lost, to not see things, to miss bits no matter how many times you think you’ve walked around the showground. Like the trees. I kept seeing people with woodland trust bags containing saplings, and I kept trying to find the stall where they had them. Eventually on the final day I caved and asked someone at an information point where the stall was located, and eventually arrived about 30 minutes after they had given out their last tree.
It also says something about the sheer size of the showground when so many people I knew it turned out had been there the same time as I had (thank you social media), and I’d not bumped into them once. Admittedly I did spend quite a lot of my time buying overpriced food and trying free samples of alcohol, whilst trying to stop my eyes swivelling at everything going on around me.
I hope next year I can go back again, however, I’m not even going to pretend that next year I’ll see all of what the show has to offer.