Wendy and I have just returned from exhibiting our unique range of silver and gold jewellery at The Royal Welsh Show. This year we were invited to exhibit in the South Glamorgan Hall which meant that, despite the inclement weather, we remained dry and mud free!
This is the biggest agricultural show in Europe! It is organised by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, which was formed in 1904, and takes place in July of each year, at Llanelwedd, near Builth Wells, in Powys, Mid Wales.
The first show was held in Aberystwyth in 1904, and its success led to the development of the permanent showground at Llanelwedd, first used in 1963.The show lasts for four days and attracts more than 200,000 visitors annually, making it a major boon for tourism in Wales. Events include competitions of cattle, sheep, horses, goats, pigs and various other domestic animals, Sheep dog trials, Sheep shearing competitions, Horse riding competitions, Four-in-hand and Carriage Driving displays, Falconry, Games and sports such as the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery of the Royal Horse Artillery, Arts and crafts and live music.
Given its “Royal” status it is not unusual for a senior member of the British Royal family to attend at the Show. A familiar sight is the Prince of Wales who is generally acknowledged to be a keen supporter of the farming community. Indeed following his outspoken support during the 2001 foot and mouth crisis, some farmers regard him as an influential figure. The royal interest in this year’s show was provided by the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, and the Countess of Wessex. The couple spent several hours at Llanelwedd on Wednesday, having been greeted by the president, North Wales landowner and farmer Robin Price, of Rhiwlas, Bala, who then accompanied them on a tour of the showground. Unfortunately I was unable to find an opportunity to photograph the couple to add to my ‘Royal photo’ collection and so the ‘blog photo feature’ this time is one of Wendy and I on our trade stand!
Once again we stayed in our delightful rural B&B nestled in a beautiful valley a short distance from the showgrounds where the proprietor, Biddy Williams, provides not only the best Welsh breakfast ‘fry up’ in the world but an outstanding roast dinner with fresh vegatables grown in her own garden! Each evening all ten guests staying at this picturesque period cottage congregate in its’ small dining room around an oak gateleg table and exchange diverse experiences of the days events at the show. This year’s guests included a Vivien Westwood fashion designer (who was showing a pony in the competition of Welsh Cobs), two Irish cattle farmers from Donegal, the marketing director for Harper Adams Agricultural College, a country artist, a podiatrist and two market traders from London. It certainly made for varied and interesting conversation after the show each day!
We acknowledge thanks to Wikipaedia for the factual information on the history of the Royal Welsh Show.