Picture special: North Devon Show

Joseph Bulmer

Grand day in the country had animals and attractions galore

THE North Devon Show attracted a potential record number of visitors to the sunny showground at Umberleigh, with many holiday visitors joining local people at the area’s biggest summer event.

But the volume of visitors also brought problems, with a huge tailback of traffic along the A377, at times nose to tail from the Bishops Tawton roundabout to the showground. Drivers complained of taking more than one-and-half hours for a journey of less than six miles.

Show secretary Pat Sennett said it was basically down to the sheer numbers of people who had visited the show. They did not yet have a definitive attendance number, but it was much more than last year, when 20,000 attended, she said. And the A377 was effectively the only route to the show.

“Several of our longstanding committee members said they could never remember it so busy or so many people watching around the main arena,” said Pat.

“It says a lot about the popularity of the show as a main attraction for the area.”

Organisers have already been discussing the traffic situation and are working with those who made the traffic arrangements to see if there were ways they could make improvements.

Despite the driving grumbles, a good time was generally had by all as town met country for a family day out on the 100-acre site in the Umberleigh countryside.

Attractions were many and varied and animal lovers were greeted by a good entry of cattle, sheep, horses, dogs and alpacas which came under the scrutiny of the judges.

Visitors were also able to see show jumping and pony games, sheepdogs herding ducks, musical and dancing dogs, performing falcons – and unexpected giant snails and a gargantuan wooden spider.

Other attractions included monster trucks rampaging around the main ring, destroying lesser vehicles on their way.

Colourful jousting brought a taste of bygone times while huntsmen and hounds maintained their traditions and delighted youngsters with close encounters in the ring.

Sheep shearing, the antics of the Young Farmers, vintage cars and tractors, country pursuits of all kinds, horticulture, stalls and sideshows galore all filled the day with added interest.

Trade stands were kept busy and over the next few days show secretary Pat has already been inundated with requests from traders to be at next year’s event.

“This is very satisfying because while we are first an agricultural show, we must have the traders to support the agriculture side,” she said.

To view more pictures of the show, click on the link on the top right of this page, or to order pictures, click on the MyPhotos24 tab on the left.