The First & Second Show
It was agreed following the first Show, that the annual event met a most definite requirement and the new President, R Bruce Ward, selected his home town of Ashford as the 1924 venue.
With Colonel The Right Honourable Lord Cornwallis as Chairman and HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester agreeing to be guest of honour, the Show promised to be a triumph. The second Show at Barrow Hill, Ashford took place on 10, 11 and 12 July 1924 with more than 100 trade exhibitors and 250 exhibitors of stock, including His Majesty the King, who showed Shorthorn Cattle from The Royal Farms at Windsor.
Prince Henry had honoured the Society and expressed his extreme pleasure at being able to attend “the excellent Show with all its interesting exhibits.” The format for the next 80 Shows was now beginning to emerge and with a balance of funds sitting at £1,995, the Kent County Agricultural Society began its plans for the next County Show, which would be an amalgamation with the Bath & West and Southern Counties Society for the Maidstone Show and would take place from May 28 to June 2 1925. The fourth annual Show was held in Margate on 15, 16 and 17 July 1926, at Northdown House and Park, the estate owned by the new President, Captain J I H Friend.
Two unfortunate setbacks happened in 1926: a general industrial strike and an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. This led to a decrease in entries and many empty stalls. Spirits were not dampened, however, and it was announced that the 1927 Show would be held in the stunning 30-acre park at Knole in Sevenoaks.
In 1928, new President, The Right Honourable Viscount Folkestone, offered the site at the foot of Caesar’s Camp in Folkestone as the venue for the sixth Annual Show. The ground was quarter of a mile from Shorncliffe Railway Station and a mile from Folkestone Central Station. The Show, which took place on 17, 18 and 19 July in glorious weather, made a small financial profit. Milking trials were held for the first time and had good entries, while the Great Horse Ring - which was as big as the one at the Royal Show - proved a big attraction, with almost continuous competitions from 1.30 pm to 6.30 pm. The jumping and driving classes were said to be of an incredibly high standard and sheep dog demonstrations were introduced as a new feature, creating a lot of interest. The 1928 Show had been such a success that Viscount Folkestone agreed to stay on as Society President and under his patronage, the 1929 Show was also staged in Folkestone.
In the Beginning
The Kent County Agricultural Society formed in 1923, following the meeting a year earlier by a group of farmers and land owners who had begun preparations for what was to become the newly formed Kent County Agricultural Society’s inaugural event.
The Society, with 63 Members of Council, chaired by The Right Honourable The Earl of Guilford and more than 800 members approached the town of Gravesend to host the 1923 Show. In the official guide and programme, The Mayor stated that the town was about to receive “the biggest advertisement it had been privileged to enjoy and in the spirit of enterprise and confidence, should accept the opportunity to advance Gravesend.”
The first Kent County Agricultural Show was duly held at Wombwell Hall Park, on Tuesday 19, Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 June 1923. Farming was feeling the start of the depression and the guaranteed income for agriculture during the First World War was coming to an end.
The Right Honourable The Earl of Darnley, the Society’s first President, reported that the first annual Show at Gravesend was a success in terms of entries for livestock, which the Council reported were “exceptionally good, and proof that the effort to produce a County Show for Kent fulfilled a long-felt want, and was appreciated by Breeders and Agriculturalists alike.”
Not only did the 1923 catalogue show a full schedule of livestock competitions and trade stands but also included a week of evening entertainment. Bands, concerts, drama productions, swimming exhibitions, schools’ sports and a carnival were part of a larger celebration of the town of Gravesend, which had opened its streets for the Kent County Agricultural Society.
The Second Show
The second Show at Barrow Hill, Ashford took place on 10, 11 and 12 July 1924 with more than 100 trade exhibitors and 250 exhibitors of stock, including His Majesty the King, who showed Shorthorn Cattle from The Royal Farms at Windsor.
The success of this second show was in part due to the Ashford Local Committee, under the Chairmanship of Sir Edward Hardy, who had worked extremely hard for several months in the interests of the Society and undoubtedly contributed to what the press suggested was an exceptional event. Prince Henry had honoured the Society and expressed his extreme pleasure at being able to attend “the excellent Show with all its interesting exhibits.”
The Next Few Shows
The format for the next 80 Shows was now beginning to emerge and with a balance of funds sitting at £1,995, the Kent County Agricultural Society began its plans for the next County Show, which would be an amalgamation with the Bath & West and Southern Counties Society for the Maidstone Show and would take place from May 28 to June 2 1925.
The fourth annual Show was held in Margate on 15, 16 and 17 July 1926, at Northdown House and Park, the estate owned by the new President, Captain J I H Friend.
The Kent County Agricultural Society by this time had organised its Council Members and was able to form smaller working committees to look at particular areas, represented by Finance, Show Yard, Prize List, Publicity, Programme and Allotment Committees.
The object of the Society at this time was for the encouragement of agriculture generally, improvement in the breeding and rearing of livestock and to encourage the invention and improvement of agricultural implements and machinery.
The Show, at Margate had been deemed by many experts to be one of the most beautiful with regards to position, lay out and decoration. This was the result of the efforts of the President, who not only spent time on the grounds daily for several months prior to the Show, but also placed a large staff of men at the disposal of the Society.
The Rest of the 1920s
Two unfortunate setbacks happened in 1926: a general industrial strike and an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. This led to a decrease in entries and many empty stalls. Spirits were not dampened, however, and it was announced that the 1927 Show would be held in the stunning 30-acre park at Knole in Sevenoaks.
At the Annual General Meeting on 6 January 1927, The Right Honourable Lord Sackville was voted in as President and it would be on his land in Sevenoaks that the Show would take place. The new Chairman, former President, R Bruce Ward, began negotiations with officials of the Southern Railways to organise special trains to deal with the anticipated volume of visitors. It was also anticipated that, like the previous year, the Show would make a loss and in light of this, many of the judges generously declined to accept the usual fees.
Livestock entries were generally good, but unfortunately once more the Royal Agricultural Society exhibits were absent, owing to foot and mouth restrictions. However, The Kent National Farmers’ Union Committee staged an excellent Soft Fruit Show, which still takes place today as the NFU Cherry and Soft Fruit Show.
In 1928, new President, The Right Honourable Viscount Folkestone, offered the site at the foot of Caesar’s Camp in Folkestone as the venue for the sixth Annual Show. The ground was quarter of a mile from Shorncliffe Railway Station and a mile from Folkestone Central Station. The Show, which took place on 17, 18 and 19 July in glorious weather, made a small financial profit. Milking trials were held for the first time and had good entries, while the Great Horse Ring - which was as big as the one at the Royal Show - proved a big attraction, with almost continuous competitions from 1.30 pm to 6.30 pm. The jumping and driving classes were said to be of an incredibly high standard and sheep dog demonstrations were introduced as a new feature, creating a lot of interest.
The 1928 Show had been such a success that Viscount Folkestone agreed to stay on as Society President and under his patronage, the 1929 Show was staged in Folkestone. The experiment of holding the annual event for the second year in succession on the same site was justified by the result. The improved layout and the arrangements made for the convenience of exhibitors and visitors were praised and once again favoured by three days of sunshine and a visit on the second day by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, the Kent County Agricultural Society was congratulated on yet another successful Show.
For the first time announcements and broadcasts were made in the Great Horse Ring and with the additional shedding for trade stands and an excellent poultry show, it was evident that the 1929 event had begun laying down firm foundations as one of the county’s premier attractions. And the continued financial health of the Society under the watchful care of W R Elgar, Chairman of the Finance Committee meant that the 1929 Show returned a surplus of £587.
In a special Judges’ report in the 1929 annual report, Alex Bowie said that although the Show was held in the extreme south-east of England, it was safe to say that the Kent County Agricultural Society, so far as the harness classes were concerned, attracted entries second to none.
In the absence of a definite invitation from any other town in the county to host the Show in 1930, the Council felt justified in once again accepting the invitation from Folkestone to hold the annual event on the magnificent site under Caesar’s Camp. The advantage of this exercise was that the Society would be able to leave the buildings they had erected for the 1929 Show, which was a considerable expense.
By 1930, agriculture was hit by the economy and the numbers of livestock entering the Show was down on previous years, while two days of rain affected the gate numbers and it was not surprising that receipts all round were disappointing. The Show continued until the outbreak of World War II.
The Kent County Show resumed in 1947 under the Presidency of The Lord Lieutenant of Kent, The Rt. Hon. Lord Stanley Cornwallis, who returned to the helm with renewed enthusiasm for the Society. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent’s visit to the Show on the first day was a great success. She was met at the main gates by the President and the Mayor and Mayoress of Maidstone.
The Council was determined that its first post-war Show should be celebrated in a fitting manner and every effort was made to overcome the challenges of putting on a Show after so many years’ absence and having to elect new Committees and embrace the community after so many years away.
The 1930 Show
Convinced by the economy, the chairman decided that with the same level of organisation and the costs of re-erecting the buildings saved, the 1930 Show would continue to be a hit with both the farming community and the thousands of holiday makers who attended. The date was set for Wednesday 16, Thursday 17 and Friday 18 July. By 1930, agriculture was hit by the economy and the numbers of livestock entering the Show was down on previous years, while two days of rain affected the gate numbers and it was not surprising that receipts all round were disappointing.
The President, the Right Honourable Sir Phillip Sassoon, Bart, honoured the Society by officially opening the Show on the first day. Arriving by air, he was then accompanied by the Mayor of Folkestone around the exhibits, before joining council members for luncheon and departing as he had arrived, by air. That year, Kent or Romney Marsh Sheep were undoubtedly the strongest feature of the Show, with a display that rivalled the ‘Royal.’It was agreed that while there was a safe format by continuing with a Show that stayed in one place, the Council suggested that the Society look to once again tour the county, and so the ninth annual Show would be held at Canterbury on 15, 16 and 17 July.
Winston Churchill Visits the Show
By 1931, there were 110 members of Council and more than 900 members, almost entirely made up from the farming community. The Right Honourable Winston Churchill MP, accompanied by his wife Clementine, opened this Show in 1931 and after a tour of the showground, the party proceeded up the main avenue to the bandstand for the opening ceremony.Several new attractions were arranged for that year, including the Isle of Wight Rodeo Riders performing exhibitions of horsemanship and trick riding over the three days. The newly named Cherry and Soft Fruit Show, held on the second day of the Show, attracted 226 exhibits and the Chairman reported that the fruit growers of Kent had every reason to be proud of such a magnificent display. He also said that the Young Farmers’ Judging Competitions had proved most interesting and worthwhile. Education played an important part for the first time, with several thousand school children able to attend due to the inclusion of a new reduced admission price for schools.
The 10th and 11th Kent County Agricultural Shows were to be held in Maidstone, the county town, with Mote Park as the venue, by kind invitation of the Maidstone Corporation. Lord Cornwallis, past Chairman from 1924 to 1926, who had placed the Society on a sound footing, was elected President. Despite the increased number of stock entries and trade exhibitors, attendance was very poor.
The 1932 Show was officially opened by the Countess De La Warr, who took a particular interest in the new exhibit of glasshouse produce staged by members of the North West Kent Growers’ Branch of the NFU.
It had been built at considerable expense with the object of proving that given fair conditions, British growers could and would produce crops which extended beyond the normal growing season. Lord Cornwallis opened the exhibit and on the final day of the Show, the produce was sold off to the public and the proceeds donated to East Malling Research Station for special horticultural research work. At this Show the first plans were put in place for controlling traffic and parking. It was reported that the Chief Constable of Maidstone City Police controlled the traffic without a hitch and the Automobile Association ran the parking smoothly with no incidents.
The 1933 Show
The following year in 1933, the Mayor of Maidstone secured both the new President, The Right Honourable Lord Plender, and the official Guest of Honour, the Lord Mayor of London. Happily, the Kent County Agricultural Society was able to report a small profit and had the weather been better, the number of visitors would have been higher. In fact records showed a 33 per cent increase in figures on the first day, Thursday 13 July. The Show, which had in previous years spanned three days, would see a switch to the final day being held on Saturday. This was to ensure that farm workers were able to come along with their families on a non-working day.
The 1934 Show
The last 10 years of the Show saw many changes in the Society’s hierarchy and in 1934 R. Bruce Ward was both President and Chairman of the Society. The venue for the Show was Bybrook at Kennington, on the outskirts of Ashford. The aim was to repeat the success of the 1924 Show, but the weather on the first day was depressing. Rain fell heavily in the morning, especially during the official opening by the Right Honourable The Marquess of Camden, Lord Lieutenant of Kent, whose speech about the problems farmers faced in the current economic climate was welcomed by those present. The constraints of the site in Ashford, a mere 21 acres, caused the Show Yard Committee quite a few problems in trying make sure there was enough room for everyone. The result was a concentration of exhibitors that added to the pleasure of visitors and was a factor in making the Show a 'lively success'. Mr. Wright organised boxing competitions and The 386th Battery RFA provided a thrilling display of guns versus tanks. On the final day of the Show, the Kent Motor Club generously cancelled its midsummer meeting in the interests of the Society and instead provided a motor cycle gymkhana followed by speedway racing on their track.
The Rest of the 1930s
The Council accepted the invitation to hold the Show in Ashford in 1935 under the proviso that they would move location again in 1936. HRH The Duke of Kent honoured the Society with a visit and expressed his pleasure at being able to attend such an excellent exhibition, thanking the Society for all the arrangements that had been made for his comfort.
While the Show had moderate success, the Annual General Meeting that year was dominated by the retirement of Mr R Bruce Ward. The Council recorded its deep appreciation and gratitude for his nine years service to the Society; since 1927 he had held the title of President on four occasions.
Under the new Chairmanship of Captain Friend, who had been President in 1926 and Chairman since 1927, the 1936 Show was held in Canterbury and moved back to being held on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The President, Mr W K Whigham of Highland Court at Bridge had agreed to stay in post for two years while the Show was held in Canterbury. The 1937 Canterbury event was deemed a huge success, mainly due to the brilliant weather and the return of HRH The Duke of Kent, this time accompanied by the Duchess. Stock entries increased significantly and visitor numbers exceeded expectations. During the Society’s 15 shows this was only the second time that a four-figure profit had been recorded.
The 1938 Show returned to Folkestone, where it had had mixed success, but was particularly fortunate in having The Rt. Hon. Earl of Radnor as President of the Society. His Lordship took the keenest possible interest in the Show and marvelled at a monster of a bullock weighing an incredible 27 cwt.Directly after the 1938 Show, Major R J Bacon died. He had held the post of Secretary since the Society had formed in 1923 and had worked tirelessly for 16 years. The Annual General Meeting minutes note that his loss would be profound.
By 1939 the Kent County Agricultural Society had established itself within the county and had a balance sheet in excess of £5,000.
Mote Park, Maidstone
The 19th Annual Show in was staged at Mote Park, the new permanent Showground. Major Friend continued as he had before the outbreak of the Second World War as Chairman, and Lord Cornwallis agreed to stand as President. With this continuity, the Society was in a strong position and organised itself with a constitution and well-disciplined committees that would form even stronger foundations for the Society.
The appalling weather and subsequent condition around Mote Park in 1960 caused some bad publicity and criticism of the Society for not providing permanent roads around the Showground. The Corporation of Maidstone had no problem with the Society building road systems around the Showground, provided they were taken up at the end of each Show and the surface restored – which would have involved the Society in expenditure quite beyond the limits of its financial reserves.
At a Council meeting held at the ground, a special Committee, entitled Planning and Policy, was formed and given the task of addressing the challenges that had arisen. George Stevens, Vice-Chairman, took on the challenge of investigating all options and reporting his findings back to the Members.
On 21 October 1960, five members of the Committee met at the Royal Star Hotel in Maidstone to discuss whether or not to devote money to the improvement of the present Showground, or to use the available capital to acquire a new permanent ground for the Society.
Although there was an amicable association with the Corporation of Maidstone, it was felt that there might come a time when possible staff changes or politics could mean a change in the current relationship. George Stevens asked whether the Society’s new Planning and Policy Committee could be empowered to recommend the acquisition of a permanent Showground. Alan Day agreed that this was the obvious path to take and that other leading Show Societies were following the trend of purchasing their own grounds.
George Stevens had made extensive searches to find alternative sites, 19 in total, and by 4 February 1963, George Stevens had been elected Chairman and the contracts had been exchanged on Murrain Place and Ten Acres. The Kent Agricultural Society was now the proud owner of its own Showground.
The Showground at Detling The last Kent County Show at Mote Park in Maidstone marked an important change for the Kent County Agricultural Society. It had been a monumental task to build the Shows at the site on the outskirts of Maidstone, with a 14-week build time and a small army of Committee members. However, the task ahead, to turn the grazing land at Murrain Place into a workable Showground, would be a labour of love, with little rest or time to reflect on decisions. Lord Cornwallis, whose father had been involved in the formation of the Society in 1923, suggested this would be an admirable legacy for all who had ever been involved with the Society, and felt proud and privileged to have been part of this current venture. Leading the changes was Chairman George Stevens who, together with a small team of experts, set about planning the grounds. HRH Princess Alexandra and The Hon. Mrs Ogilvy declared the new Showground open on Wednesday 15 July 1964 at a ceremony where the prayer of dedication was given by the Right Reverend Bishop of Maidstone. The unusual layout of the two large rings proved popular, as they provided a continuous programme in both throughout the Show, while the concentration of agricultural machinery stands along each side of the main approach made an ideal introduction for visitors to the Ground. The 1971 two-day Show was held for the first time on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 July, and while attendance figures were up on previous years, there was a decline in the large agricultural machinery exhibitors. The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas put on an impressive display in the South Ring while in the North Ring, a flight of model aircraft with explosions caused some problems for the horse classes. The Food Fair was introduced in 1971, which proved extremely popular with a different public audience at last able to attend on the Saturday. Princess Anne and The Golden Jubilee 1n 1972 the Society was honoured to welcome a Royal competitor when Princess Anne competed in the Spillar’s Combined Competition. Despite her request that no special arrangements should be made, the public and members of the Kent County Agricultural Society were delighted that she chose to compete in Kent. 1979 was the Show’s Golden Anniversary and in celebration, the 50th Annual Show was held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 12, 13 and 14 July. The Golden Jubilee Show proved to be a best seller, helped by headlines in the local press such as ‘A Gold Top County Show,’ ‘This year’s Anniversary Kent County Show looks like being a blockbuster,’ ‘A Golden Welcome awaits at the County Show’ and ‘It’s Fifty Years on for the Kent Show.’
Her Majesty The Queen
On 13 December 1988 Robin Leigh-Pemberton received a letter from The Rt Hon Sir William Heseltine, Private Secretary to Her Majesty The Queen, to say that Her Majesty and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh would be pleased to visit The Kent County Show on 14 July 1989.
The public announcement was not made until 5 January and it was indicated that the information should be kept confidential with the exception of those within the Society, who would need to begin planning immediately for such an auspicious occasion.
Buckingham Palace was keen that the visit should coincide with the opening of the new premises of the Royal Society for the Blind at Dorton House in Sevenoaks. Robin Leigh-Pemberton thought that it was quite possible for the Royal Party to drive to the Showground at Detling in time for the official lunch and spend the afternoon touring the Show.
In March a letter arrived from Windsor to the Secretary, Frances Day to inform the Society that The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh had decided to leave the county by train for the return journey to Windsor from Bearsted Station. British Rail was working hard to try and accommodate their request to leave as late as possible, without disrupting the Friday evening rush-hour commuters.
The Queen had approved the official lunch menu, but it was suggested that the caterers should have the first course ready on the table so that the time spent at lunch could be reduced to a minimum, creating more time for seeing the Show. It was also suggested that plates should be cleared away promptly and that coffee be served straight after the cheese course.
The Queen received the civic dignitaries and Society officers in the Main Ring before officially opening the new Pavilion by cutting a red ribbon across the entrance. The Royal Party proceeded to the John Hendry Members’ Pavilion to greet the Society’s invited guests and officials before being seated for lunch.
At 2.35pm the permanent staff at the Showground were presented before The Queen and Prince Philip went on foot to the Cherry and Soft Fruit Show. After 10 minutes talking to growers, the Royal party left the marquee and proceeded down Churchill Avenue by car to the British Farming Demonstration. The Queen’s final duty of the day was to present the Society’s long-service awards and a selection of trophies, before leaving the Showground for her train at Bearsted.
The New Millenium
The new Millennium began with John Jennings in place as Chairman and Willie McKeever as Vice-Chairman and while there may have been grey clouds for most of the three-day Show, the sun shone brightly on Saturday when tribute was paid to the men who had served at Detling during the war.
Foot and Mouth
On 19 February 2001 the first case of foot and mouth was reported in Essex and over the next four days several more cases were confirmed. The impact was to become apparent over the ensuing weeks; the farming community was in crisis and the threat to Britain’s agriculture and tourism industries was overwhelming.
In April, Chairman John Jennings told members that the Executive Committee had made the difficult decision to go ahead with the Show. While many other Agricultural Societies decided to cancel their annual event, The Kent County Show would take place - but without the usual farm animals. Planning a different kind of Show began in earnest and Francis Day, Chief Executive, looked at enhancing the Food Tent, Flower Show (which had the added attraction of the BBC Gardening Roadshow), the Farming Fayre and Forestry area.
The horse showing classes were still scheduled and The King’s Division Waterloo Band and Lings Motorcross Display Team would take centre stage in the Falmouth Ring, instead of the usual Grand Parade of livestock. A gun dog display and terrier racing replaced some of the livestock classes and there was also a display of birds of prey. BMX bikes and skateboarding provided a different style of entertainment for visitors, as did a visit from Louis Theroux, the TV journalist, who was making a documentary about Maidstone MP Ann Widdecombe. The sheep lines became a Farmers’ Market, supported by the Society and Kentish Fayre.
Although the 2001 Show was the first in the Society’s history to take place with no cloven-hoofed animals, it nevertheless proved successful on many levels. Traders were grateful for the opportunity to take part, as was the equine fraternity. The Kent County Show is an important date in the horse calendar and 2001 saw more than 2,000 entries, with a significant increase in the show jumping classes. Total visitor attendance over the three days was down as expected by around 22 per cent.
The Last Decade
40th Anniversary at Detling
The year 2003 began with the Society celebrating both its 40th anniversary at the Detling site and 80 years since the Society had formed, but also with the news that Francis Day would retire immediately after the 2003 Show, handing its running and that of the Event Centre to Jonathan Day, the current Deputy Chief Executive. Francis had been a part of the Society for 28 years, starting as a horse steward, then becoming John Hendry’s assistant and finally taking on the responsibility of running the annual event in 1985. Willie McKeever was elected Chairman and George Jessel his Vice Chairman.
The main attraction for the 2003 Show on 11, 12 and 13 July was four of Her Majesty’s carriages from the Royal Mews: the Scottish State Coach, drawn by a team of greys, Queen Alexandra’s Coach, used for the State Opening of Parliament, the Ascot Landau and the Balmoral Landau, both drawn by teams of bays.
Another big attraction for 2003 was the international sheep shearing event organised by the Kent County Shears, formerly The Romney Shears, on 12 July. Shearers in the final sheared 20 sheep in an impressive16 minutes. The sun shone for all three days and temperatures stayed up in the eighties. Visitor numbers were 4,000 up on the previous year and the vibrant livestock area proving a huge draw for the crowds.
The Living Land
The Society’s first Living Land event took place on Thursday 6 May, an event dreamt up by David and Roz Day, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Education and Awards Committee. Aimed at primary school children aged between seven and nine in academic years 3 and 4, it offered 3,000 children from 65 Kent schools the chance to learn where food came from and how it was produced, and promoted a better understanding of farming and rural life - with the emphasis on fun.
Kent Young Farmers brought their animals along, as most had been hand reared and were used to human contact. Princess Christian Farm brought pigs and the Sussex Cattle Society brought one of its prize bulls. A working dairy courtesy provided by a local farmer, who brought along six of his best milking cows, proved to be one of the highlights of the day.
Other activities included rural crafts in Murrain Wood and the Sheep Show, which featured several breeds of sheep and a shearing demonstration. Dozens of other organisations got involved and the day was considered such a success that planning for the event the following year began immediately.
The Kent Pavilion
The Kent Pavilion took centre stage at the 2005 Show and was full of food from the UK as well as France, America and, most importantly, Kent, giving the new building a real international flavour. The Show would be remembered for its glorious sunshine, but alas the heat inside the new all-glass building was not ideal for a large celebration. Despite the new Pavilion causing some discomfort for the stands inside, elsewhere on the Showground the Show attracted the crowds once more and attendance figures were reported as well over 105,00. Wolves and otters proved a very popular added attraction in the Countryside area and around 1,000 sheep were sheared during the finals of the Romney Shears and English National Shearing Competition on the Sunday.
Why Farming Matters in Kent
The Why Farming Matters area proved extremely popular in 2007 when it was introduced and so for 2008, more organisations were invited to participate and the area focused on the importance of farming. The main theme was “farm to fork” and included a number of interactive educational displays.
In the Falmouth Ring The Dancing Diggers, a JCB stunt team performed dare devil stunts and formation dancing to provide entertainment for visitors.
The Society celebrated its 80th Show in 2009 and to mark the occasion T.R.H. The Earl and Countess of Wessex attended the Show on Friday. The weather was particularly unkind and even in July, coats were needed. The Royal Couple were greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Mr. Allan Willett CMG, who escorted them onto the Showground to be introduced to civic dignitaries. Their first official duty was to present the Long Service and Forestry Awards outside Alan Day House and then George Jessel, KCAS Chairman introduced the Royal Couple to the office staff who organised the Show