The Boot & Shoe ladies’ team in action in the popular tug-o-war competition at Tockwith Show
The Boot & Shoe ladies’ team in action in the popular tug-o-war competition at Tockwith Show

Sun shines on crowds at 74th Tockwith Show

Around 9,000 visitors of all ages enjoyed a fantastic showcase of rural life and local produce at the 74th Tockwith Show.

The annual one-day event, which calls itself ‘The Greatest Small Show in Yorkshire’, took place on Sunday, August 4. Apart from one small shower, there were glorious blue skies and sunshine throughout the day as the crowds enjoyed a range of classes and a varied programme packed with new attractions and old favourites. Over 60 stalls, marquees and trade stands were filled with activity, and there were also displays of machinery and agricultural skills.

A big hit in the main ring were two shows from newcomers SMJ Falconry, who delighted the audience with an impressive display that included the spectacle of a large eagle swooping at speed only slightly above the heads of the audience. Also new to Tockwith and proving popular with visitors was an air gun rifle range hosted by Wighill Park Guns. Several instructors from the company were on hand to teach children how to safely hold and fire the guns.

The tug-o-war is a traditional fixture at the show, and this year the competition involved teams from Tockwith pubs The Spotted Ox and The Boot & Shoe. Ladies’ and Men’s teams battled it out, with The Boot & Shoe taking both titles.

Despite the cancellation of the pig classes due to an outbreak of swine dysentery nearby, there were still plenty of animals to keep visitors entertained. Alongside farm animals and small animals, children loved getting hands-on with some more exotic creatures such as tarantulas and snakes, brought to the show by Animals In-Tuition. The Discovery Zone also proved popular with youngsters, as did the crazy Dog Dash and the chance to meet the hounds from the Badsworth and Bramham Hunt after their demonstration in the main ring.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the first Farmers’ Market at Tockwith Show. Lord Willis of Knaresborough opened the first market when he was the Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, and he was invited back to open this year’s market. Master Chef semi-finalist Jess Gardham hosted a cookery demonstration as well as helping to judge the Best of Yorkshire Pie competition alongside Radio York presenter Jonathan Cowap. The winning pie made by Voakes Pies of Whixley was filled with pork, chicken and stuffing with an apricot topping.

A new trophy this year was presented in memory of Dougie Mack, a Tockwith Show stalwart who was well-known in the area. The Dougie Mack Trophy was presented by Dougie’s wife and son to Mr and Mrs G Lythe, who have been selling sell antiquarian books at the show for 27 years.

The Army Benevolent Fund were invited to have a stand by chairman Allan Robinson and were presented with a cheque for £200 from Tockwith Show. The show was originally started in 1945 to raise money for personnel at RAF Marston Moor, so organisers felt it was a fitting donation.

The show concluded with the annual auction of items from the various competitions, raising £600 for show president Dee Alton’s chosen charity, Cancer Research UK.

Show secretary Steve Ross said:

This year’s show went really well, and a great day was had by all.

Thank you to everyone who made it so special, from those who entered classes and competitions, to all our visitors, and not forgetting our volunteers, who put in a huge amount of work to plan and run the show.

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