THIS was the year everything went right for the Cheshire Show, with record crowds through the gates on Tuesday, and a matching attendance promised as Wednesday also opened with perfect weather.
A record opening attendance was confirmed yesterday morning by show chief executive Nigel Evans, who said that last year’s opening day figure of 40,000 had been exceeded.
“And we’re hoping to do very well today, too,” said Mr Evans, as Wednesday opened with sunshine and a promising flow through the gates.
He added: “We have usually found in recent years that the first day draws a larger crowd than the second, but it doesn't have to be that way.”
The show has secured huge livestock entries in all categories, with cattle back to the 2007 figure of 600 after being halved last year by the threat of blue tongue disease, and the addition of a new breed, the Longhorns, actually the oldest improved British type, brought the total to 13 for the first time since the Cheshire Show was launched at Nantwich in 1837.
Sheep, goats and pigs all showed increased entries, with horses well over the 3,000 mark, and dogs not far behind, making the Cheshire the largest event of its kind after the national Crufts.
One late shower marred that perfect Tuesday, and the man it drenched was environmentalist Professor David Bellamy, who walked out of the Food Tent demonstration just before 6pm for a TV interview in the open, just as a brisk downpour hit the field with most of the crowd already on the way home.
“It was very unlucky timing,” explained Show Director Nigel Evans.
“The exect moment David Bellamy came out of the tent in his shirtsleeves, we had the only rain of the day, so he got remarkably wet in a couple of minutes!”
He added: “But he took it all in good part, and we reckon one shower on a show day is nothing to worry about!”