The Monmouthshire Show has not run for three consecutive years due to the worldwide Coronavirus Pandemic but returns this month in a slightly changed format.
The show was one of the very first to cancel in March 2020 resulting in over 88,000 hits on its Facebook page as the British event world came to realise what the pandemic was going to mean across the country.
Despite all the challenges, the rules and regulations, the loss of many vital suppliers, the cost increases, the retirement of experienced committee members and the sad death of the vice chairman, Mr John Helme, to name but a few, a dedicated core of a committee has formed comprising existing and new members determined to put on a show again.
Retiring committee members have formed an advisory group so their valuable expertise is not lost.
This has been termed the ‘Lite’ Monmouthshire Show, which will be held on the 16 acre Main Ring field and will be packed with entertainment, including extreme mountain bikes, scurry, Icelandic horses, Mini Pony Show, shopping and food experiences, music, and a vintage/classic car section, plus more.
An educational Livestock and Agri-Hub exhibits a variety of farm and domestic animals with milking and shearing demonstrations, and host speakers with a range of experiences in agriculture and rural affairs, enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with visitors.
What you won’t see at the ‘Lite’ Show is the usual livestock and horse showing sections.
This is a temporary change to the format and the committee is hoping to bring these sections back for 2024.
The committee welcomes Cathy Tindell as its new Management Secretary who has taken up the reins with dedication and competence.
Cathy, a past Young Farmer who has grown up with horses and sheep and even lists working in the nuclear power industry amongst her past experiences, has somehow managed to juggle her family commitments with starting at ground level to plan the 2023 Monmouthshire Show Lite.
Stall holders will have access to wifi to take card payments on the day but it would be sensible to bring some cash just in case.
The ever-popular Home and Garden Marquee marks its return to this year’s Show with over 60 free to-enter classes.
From art and photography to baking, horticulture and young person’s classes, there are plenty of opportunities for the general public to put their skills to the test.
Featured in the Home and Garden marquee this year are a selection of rural crafts people who will be carrying out demonstrations throughout the day.
Taking up a new position in pride of place directly below the Main Ring is the Food Festival marquee with locally produced food as well as delicacies from further afield.
With all site plans thrown up in the air, the Members Marquee has settled in a space below the main ring immediately adjacent to the perimeter of the ring with perfect viewing for members and vice presidents.
Members will be able to purchase tea, coffee and cream teas from 10am to 3pm with other drinks available from the Member’s Bar throughout the day.
Day membership will be available to purchase for those wishing to be with friends or sit in the relative peace of the members area.
Without the usual large Livestock Section this year, the challenge has been not losing sight of local agriculture.
To this end, an educational livestock area has been formed. Local producers will be bringing their farm animals and, in some cases, their products, and will be keen to engage with the general public.
Tours through the area will be given at different times in the day when an explanation about the variety of animals and breeds on display will be given. Visitors can expect to see cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and heavy horses and even some smaller domestic animals.
New for this year is the Agri-Hub, where visitors can listen to a range of local people and organisations talk about rural subjects from technology in farming to hedgehog awareness.
With acres of room for parking on site this year, the committee are grateful to a team from the Severn Area Rescue Association for managing the task of parking and the shuttle bus in return for a donation to their charity fund.
Free Shuttle Buses will operate from various stops in Monmouth town between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm.
Once again, the committee are indebted to the Show sponsors, and in particular the main sponsor, Monnow Marquees, for their generous and continued support of the Show.
Chairman of the Monmouthshire Show Society, Mr Michael Herbert, comes from a local farming family and follows in the footsteps of both his mother and grandfather.
He fondly remembers the days during his childhood of visiting the Show and was eager to join the Show Committee in 2019 and play his part in the continuation of this historic event.
As Chair, Michael also wished to extend his thanks to the Patron of the Monmouthshire Show Society, John Jenkins.
John has been unwavering in his support over the years and is an invaluable member of the committee. Each year, the Society chooses a charity to support.
In 2022, despite not holding a Show, a donation of £1,000 was given to Cancer Research UK in support of the sterling work they do to pioneer research into new cancer cures.
For 2023, the Chairman’s Charity is Jamie’s Farm, which focuses on empowering disadvantaged children, at risk of social and academic exclusion, to change course at a crucial time in their lives towards a brighter and healthier future.
Established in 2009 by Jamie Feilden, a London-based teacher and keen farmer, the charity celebrated working with its 12,000th young person this year.
Their farm in Redbrook is a hive of activity, welcoming children from schools and organisations acros sthe country.
The committee has endeavoured to keep ticket prices as low as possible, despite considerable cost increases.
They strongly advise buying tickets online in advance at www.monmouthshow.co.uk, where you can benefit from significant discounts up until Saturday 19th August.
This not only saves money but will also ensure quicker access to the Showground on the day.
Tickets will be for sale on the gate but the full entry price will apply.