Thousands flock to North Devon Show

Joseph Bulmer

THE North Devon Show was declared a huge success yesterday (Wednesday) with a potential record number of visitors packing the sunny showground at Umberleigh.

But this also brought 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 she had spoken with police and the county council about this, but 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 there were many more people than last year, when 20,000 attended, she said. And the A377 was the only route to the show.

Several longstanding committee members had 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.”

She thanked all the helpers who gave their time voluntarily and did so with good hearts, because they loved the show, she said. They did a fabulous job. Without them the show would not exist.

Despite the driving grumbles a good time was had by all as many holiday visitors joined the locals for a family day out that included a good entry of cattle, sheep, horses and dogs, the attractions of monster trucks and mounted falconers, huntsmen and hounds, showjumping and pony games, country pursuits, horticulture, stalls and sideshows galore.