THE spirit of people in Rutland was not dampened by the weather yesterday (Sunday) as hundreds turned out to support the annual Rutland County Show.
It was the 180th event to be held in the county and show-goers from far and wide were there to exhibit and browse the events, livestock and stalls.
Livestock numbers were down but Rutland Agricultural Society spokesman Fiona Dale said that was as much to do with other events taking place around the country as the wet weather.
She said: “There are a few people around and about considering. A lot of shows which are usually held on the May bank holiday have been moved to this weekend.
“In my Highland cattle yearling class there were 10 entrants which is quite a lot.”
In the sheep section things were in full swing as well. Head steward Duncan Burton said: “We have got some very strong continental classes and all the commercial sheep are from local farmers.
“We have got good support and everybody’s knuckling down in a Battle of Britain sort of way and helping out which is the main thing.
“I will take all the stewards for a pint afterwards.”
Attractions in the main ring and dotted around the showground included The Sheep Show, Cottesmore Hunt, the Dog and Duck display and Leicester Tigers.
Cattle, sheep and goats are on display and there are horse and pony classes throughout the day.
But it was the marquees which were full to bursting.
Trish Ruddle from Langham was at the Rutland Macmillan bottle tombola.
She said: “We started slowly this morning with the bad weather but it has worked in our favour as lots of people are coming in to get out of the rain.
“As always people from Rutland have been very generous in donating their bottles to us.”
The charity usually makes between £3,000 and £4,500 from the Rutland Show. Mrs Ruddle added: “If the crowds continue to come today we should do quite well.”
The ladies in the Leicestershire and Rutland Federation of Women’s Institute were also busy in their refreshment marquee.
Head of catering Anne Holden said: “It is going really well and we are working hard to keep up with the demand.
“We have got ladies from all the Women’s Institutes in the area helping us out.”
Among the faces in the crowds was Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy who was trying his hand at the tombola himself.
He said: “The show is as much about meeting people and talking to them.
“It would not be the Rutland Show if it didn’t rain.
“I think it’s great that people come and support the county show and long should it continue.”
Among the traders and stalls at the show were the Grainstore Brewery, Brooke Priory School, the Leicester and Rutland Beekeepers Association, Northfield Farm, The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Rutland County Council and police representatives from the county.
There was also an arts and crafts marquee which was packed with people who were browsing the wares on display which ranged from wood carvings to cup cakes.
Sue Miller of Mountbatten Road, Oakham, was there with her father Charlie and her son Aaron, 10.
She said: “We come every year. I remember coming to the Rutland Show with my dad when I was Aaron’s age.
“Despite the weather it’s about the county and the community. Things like that can get lost in the technological age.
“It is nice to come out and enjoy the day.”
Aaron said: “Last year I really enjoyed the motorbikes. I like the fairground rides and the sweet stall.”
Phil Gant, 23, of Browning Road, Oakham, was there with renewable energy company Navitron. He said: “I come every year. Usually for fun but I’m working this year.
“I come up to look at the stalls, have a beer and wander about. I like looking at the live stock and tractors.
“The show is a tradition and people come together and have a look. It’s different each year.”
The show is open throughout the afternoon at Burley-on-the-Hill and admission is £10 adults, £8 concessions and £5 for children aged five to 16. Children under five can enter for free.
Access to the show ground is via Exton Avenue and Cottesmore Road as a one-way system is in place.