Great Yorkshire Show

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Imagine the scene, a group of dour Yorkshiremen sipping a pint in a pub and bemoaning their lives..

"When I were a lad, we used to live in a cardboard box in t'middle o'road…"

"CARDBOARD box?.. You were lucky. We used to…."

Not far removed from this, 175 years ago, a group of concerned Yorkshiremen held a meeting in the Black Swan Pub, in Coney Street, York, to bemoan the future of agriculture.

Arising out of this, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society was born.

The Black Swan however, is now long gone and is a B.H.S. shop with a blue plaque on the exterior to mark the historic location.

The first agricultural show was held in 1838 at Fulford in York and became a moveable feast, held at various towns around the county.

In 1950, when the Great Yorkshire Show became too big for many towns to handle, the organisers purchased land in Harrogate with a view to having a permanent location.

Developments at the Great Yorkshire Showground have seen the land changed beyond recognition.

In 1992, £10m was spent bringing the facilities up to date. There are now 100 acres of showground with 250 acres of parking.

The event, held annually over three days in July, now regularly attracts 120,000 visitors, with a record 135,111 attending in 2006.

Competitive entries are around 12,000 in all classes from livestock to sheep shearing, show jumping to cheeses. The record number of entries was 12713 in 2011.

Both of these records could be eclipsed in 2013, with hot weather forecast for the entire event.

The traffic plan for those attending is now a well oiled system and although some queueing can be expected, it is nowhere near as chaotic as it used to be. I spent no more than 10 minutes waiting in a jam approaching one of the many ways in and no delay at all on the way out.

The event has witnessed many royal visitors over the years and many of the events are blue riband quality, particularly the show jumping with many famous name riders and horses competing for the Cock o' The North Trophy.

The show events are too numerous to mention here, but include, falconry, hunting displays, axemen, motor cycle formation teams, livestock, live bands, big wheel, motor shows, cookery demonstrations, food halls, and hundreds of trade stands with all things country-related.

A day is not enough to see it all and it is a truly fabulous day out.

It is cheaper to obtain and print tickets online than to pay on the day, with a no fuss procedure.

Go to for more details.

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