Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Saturday, 10 June 2017

WELLIES AND SHAUN THE SHEEP by Victoria Cornwall


This photo is not what it seems. Yes, it is Shaun the Sheep, but what may not be so clear is that it is made of vegetables. The bricks of his house are potatoes, his wool is cauliflower and the path to his front door is made from rows of onions. To give an idea of the scale, Shaun is the same height as a man. The display was at the entrance of the Royal Cornwall Show's flower tent and provided a bright and joyful way to greet visitors as they came in out of the rain. 


The display gathered a lot of attention, which was just as good at the back as it was in the front.

As a writer, it is easy to get stuck in the creative bubble of fiction, so I was glad to slip away from my edits, put on my welllies and make my annual pilgrimage to the Royal Cornwall Show this week. I have attended the show since the day I could walk (minus the odd year here and there). Although the format rarely changes, there is always something new and interesting to see and experience. This was their 223rd year and if you have never experienced an agricultural show before then I recommend you give it a try as they are a hive of creative talent which is wide ranging, entertaining and, at times, pretty amazing.

The Royal Cornwall Show is the largest annual event in Cornwall, but it originated from humble beginnings. The first event, staged in September 1793 (yes, the Poldark era), consisted of a ploughing match near the Red Lion Inn in Truro. The following year prizes for livestock were added to the awards on offer.

Over the years the show has grown. Local radio and television stations broadcast live from the event every year, while musical entertainment, dancing and the sounds of a thriving fair fill the air. Members of the royal family are regular attenders and can usually be found sampling the local produce in the Food and Farming Pavilion. From show jumping and dog and falcon displays, to parachute jumps and army displays, there is something for everyone. At its heart is the creative talents of the human race, so I took my camera along with me to take some photos, because despite the difficult times we live in, there is still beauty and wondrous things in this world to find pleasure in.


There was a vast array of flower displays and competitions.


Local artists demonstrated their skills and displayed their products. Wood carving and whittling changed natural wood into beautiful designs.


Local traders displayed their handmade crafts.


Individuals and groups worked hard to create eye-catching displays and decorations.


Besides the competitions, demonstrations and trade stalls, there were also a lot of fun displays, music and dancing. 

There are similar events all over the country, so if you have never been to one, why not give it a try? Here are just a few events:-


So until next year, thank you organisers, volunteers, traders and  everyone else who took part in the Royal Cornwall Show this year. I had a great time - despite the rain.

9 comments:

  1. Lovely, Victoria. This gives me a yen for the Dumfries and Lockerbie Agricultural Show that we attended for (almost) every one of the 25 years we lived nearby. The Argyll equivalents seem to be much smaller, but no doubt equally interesting. You've inspired me to go and try some of them out!

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    1. Glad to hear it Gillian. I didn't realise there were so many until I started researching them. :)

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  2. Well, for starters a short story could be got out of the veggie animals! I have been to the Devon County Show many times as my husband's cousin, Mike, used to show his Hampshire Down sheep there, and then went on to be a judge. It was great to be in with the in crowd, as it were. Great post, Victoria! Inspiration isn't where you go looking for it but where you find yourself to be sometimes.

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    1. I agree Linda. Inspiration just pops up and it is a case of recognising it when it does. The short story sounds interesting!

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  3. What fantastic displays, Victoria! I've been to many country shows over the years but have never seen a display quite like Shaun the Sheep! As a child, my family religiously donned our wellies and headed to the Keith and Turriff Shows. Imagine my delight when I went to the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, near Edinburgh, and discovered it had proper paved pathways! It felt as if we were cheating! Slipping in mud was almost part of the fun of attending the smaller local shows. Fantastic images. : )

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    1. Thank you Rae. The Royal Cornwall show has paved pathways too, although I remember the days when it did not. So much easier nowadays and much more accessible for wheelchairs and prams.

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  4. Oh this brought back memories Victoria. Husband and I travelled the UK many years ago working at lots of these shows years ago - great fun.

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    1. Glad it evoked happy memories for you, Jennifer.

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