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Oswestry Show… wonderful but very wet!
04 Aug 2012
by Kirsty Smallman

From the moment I can remember the first Saturday of August has always been spent at Oswestry Show and 30 years on that day is spent exactly the same way. As a young girl I remember proudly going to see daddy on “the stand”. Now my two boys proudly run up to grandad on the stand begging for permission to climb on the tractors.

I’m sure the show gets better every year or I, as I get older, get more appreciative of it! With the pram piled high with wellies, coats, spare clothes, flip-flops, suncream, hats – everything you need for a British day out – we arrived at Park Hall Showground. Of course we took the children too!

The many exhibitors who have probably been there every year in the history of the show were there but every year we see something new – this year some fantastic stalls with home interiors, creative foods and others with clothing for all on.

Of course we couldn’t forget the calorie packed food hall and the craft marquee filled with handmade jewellery and arts and crafts where artists from across the UK, but many from Shropshire, show off their talents.

The show is obviously an agricultural show but it gives many of the businesses within the town the opportunity to be proud of what they do, regardless of their industry. Hours are spent preparing the stands and vehicles, the cattle and ponies – and everyone does it so well for the enjoyment of others.

Any visit to an event at Park Hall Showground involves a ride on the model railway which was enjoyed as usual.

A much-deserved rest by the ringside saw my two boys aged one and three glued to the vintage vehicle display or as Eddie called it “the tractor race!” – a very slow one at that!

Next was the joy of the horse and hounds and then an additional treat when the children were allowed into the ring to take a closer look at the horses and hounds.

Oswestry Show for me is like a friends reunion. Friends we may not have seen for 12 months are always there and we get the half-hour catch up which we know will happen every year – and in many cases in the same place too!

The coats had been on and off several times and we moaned about the threat of the black clouds and then enjoyed the warmth of the sun but then sadly just before 4pm (as we enjoyed the wares in the craft marquee before preparing to take our ringside place) the rain started. The rain closely followed by hale stones bigger than I’ve ever seen before, mixed with thunder and lightening. This resulting in flooded marquees, flying gazebos and thousands of people dashing under any cover they could find.

Sadly this was just before the main ring performance of Gerard Naprous and The Devil’s Horsemen. This I am presuming was called off as the showground was turned into a river and the storm lashed the marquees and stands. This was a huge disappointment for us as we were particularly looking forward to it but nobody could control the weather, despite what some people might think!

After sheltering for sometime we eventually made a dash for it and sadly made our way home – even before the much promised rides on the fairground.

But despite the sad end to a fantastic show, everyone was still in good spirits and all were trying to help others battle through the water.

The show organisers who dedicate endless hours to making it such a brilliant event should be extremely proud but no doubt will already be thinking about next year and hoping next year the sun will shine – and hopefully shine all day!

So for anyone who missed this year or has never experienced Oswestry Show put it in your diary now – the first Saturday of August – see you there!