Crowds come out in force

Whalton show'kids races, sheep races, alpacas and archery'Pictures Martin Keegan
Whalton show'kids races, sheep races, alpacas and archery'Pictures Martin Keegan

THE crowds once again came out in force for Saturday’s Whalton Village Show.

And the return of the woolly jumpers was even more popular than last year’s inaugural sheep racing competition.

Despite some rain in the morning that caused a bit of a re-organisation, thousands turned out to see the attractions and the money raised was up on 2010.

New entertainment was provided by human statue Victoria Armstrong, Chris Cross the contortionist and Morris dancers.

A display of classic cars, a climbing wall, Scarecrow competition, a dog show, archery practice and a steam engine were among the other activities and displays on some of the fields in the village.

Show Chairman Martin Keegan said: “The day went absolutely great once the early downpour cleared, as thankfully the rain held off in the afternoon.

“It did mean we needed to think on our feet as the original field for the classic cars was too wet, so they were placed in an area of the school field, and we’re grateful to Timothy Norton who gave us use of his field.

“It was good to have acts like the human statue at the show as you would normally associate them with city centres and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

“Stephen Hodgson once again did an excellent job in putting together the jumps, gates and pens for the sheep racing and we had about 500 spectators watching the races with Alex Swailes providing plenty of entertainment in his role as the compere.

“Debbie and Paul Rippon retained the title with one of Dick Thompson’s sheep in second.

“Given the weather and current economic climate, it was a remarkable achievement to raise more money than last year.

“The funds are divided between Whalton Village Hall, the First School and our Church of St Mary Magdalene. Money form the climbing wall will be given to the Great North Air Ambulance.

“It was fantastic to see a greater involvement from the school this year, thanks to the work of Headteacher Sue Hall, her staff and the PTA. Steven Trobe showed pupils how to make straw bales and there were 30 entries for that category.”

The fun run was won by Stephen Reynolds from Edinburgh, with local man Richard Sill the runner-up.

Traditional competitions were held in the village hall.

Mr Keegan also thanked show Secretary Sheila Lough for her efforts and Nicky Blackett for once again providing access to vehicles and stalls through her garden.

“We’re already looking at next year’s event and some of the stall holders have been in touch to book their spot for 2012,” he added.

“I would love to see the Cumberland wrestling return and so hopefully we will be able to sort out the insurance.”