This is the week of the New Forest Show. A dry, cloudy, warm (but not hot) week, perfect for the animals and spectators alike. The setting is how you might imagine, an open grass site with a green backdrop of the trees of the Forest. The Show itself tends to be tourist-orientated, but behind the scenes the locals work to manage the event and display local trades and wares. There is a buzz to the place, plus the rural sounds of a chainsaw, a tractor or a horse. And almost out of sight, a host of volunteers put in long shifts to make the three days a success. This year even a break in the mains water supply – somewhat critical to flush the public toilets – was resolved with barely a pause in the day’s proceedings.
The Show of cattle is a serious venture for the entrants but more of a spectacle for the visitor. The trade stands offer an abundance of goods even if not all from the New Forest. There are countryside events, environmental displays, show jumping, dog shows, machinery parades and, this year, a successful world record Wellie Throwing event. And to crown it all, royal patronage by Sophie, Duchess of Wessex, spending two days on the site, meeting the public and awarding trophies. Long may these rural traditions continue to thrive.
It is of course important that I attend these events to enhance the profile of John Woolley Ltd and gain new business but, for me, it is just as important to be part of the rural community and to show my interest and desire to be involved in what is going on.