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PRESS RELEASES FOR THE 2020 STAFFORDSHIRE COUNTY SHOW

Press Release 15/1/20 - Main Ring Attraction Revealed for Staffordshire County Show
 
           Big Pete and The Grim Reaper have been revealed as the star attractions for a truly monster 2020 Staffordshire County Show.
           The event will be held at the Weston Road showground on Wednesday and Thursday, May 27 and 28, during the half-term school holiday, and will feature the Big Pete International Monster Truck Team as the highlight of the show’s Grand Ring programme. The Monster Trucks always prove a massive attraction wherever they go and have been regular visitors at events across the Midlands providing their exciting brand of entertainment for show-goers to enjoy.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, said: “Planning for the show never ends but the advent of a new year sees us starting to up the pace in terms of organisation. “Plans are already well underway for our 2020 extravaganza and we are delighted to be announcing the stars of our Grand Ring programme - the Monster Trucks. They wow the crowds wherever they go and have a massive following. “Big Pete is 16ft tall and 12ft wide, weighing in at 7.5 tonnes, can jump 15ft into the air and being paired with Grim Reaper makes for a truly incredible show - it’s undoubtedly the UK’s most successful monster truck team and we are delighted they are coming to Stafford.
“Other Grand Ring programme attractions will include the Scurry Drivers, a fast-paced display featuring teams of two ponies and riders competing against each other to see which will complete a course in the fastest time. “There will be our traditional livestock parade which always proves popular with visitors. Wednesday’s showgoers will be able to see the parade of hounds and beagles, show jumping and a vintage machinery parade while, on Thursday, we will be welcoming the parade of young farmers’ floats.
“The antiques fair, craft fair and food hall attractions are guaranteed to pull in the crowds and there will be plenty more going on around the showground with things like Woodfest, featuring demonstrations of traditional woodland crafts, and the Country Pursuits Area featuring the Sheep Show, Birds of Prey Display and Quack Pack.
           “Livestock showing remains as popular as ever at the show and last year we were delighted to report the highest number of entries in sheep and cattle classes in recent history - almost 800 sheep entries and 300 cattle. “We also saw increased numbers in horses, dogs and goat entries and welcomed around 65,000 visitors over the two days, making it one of the most successful shows ever.”
            Early bird tickets will be available to buy from the showground office or the website www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk from April 1st. Advance tickets will be available from all other outlets will be available from May 1st.
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Press Release 28/1/20Sheep Shearing Competition a Cut Above the Rest
 
            A global boom in sheep shearing competitions has sparked the launch of a brand new era at Staffordshire County Show - ranking it as one of the top shearing events in the country. Sheep shearing entries at the show have steadily increased in recent years, along with interest from the public, and the record-breaking success of last year’s event has led to further enhancements for the 2020 show.
            This year’s competition will take place in a much larger area to house competitors, spectators and sheep, an extra event has been added and two new shearing stands are being created to make it a six-stand show. Other exciting news sees the show included on the British Isles Shearing Competitions Association (BISCA) Welsh Shearing Circuit for 2020. The show already features on the English Circuit - one of just 10 venues on the calendar nationally.
              Angela Cope, Sheep Shearing Secretary, said: “This is the beginning of a new era, these are very exciting times for sheep shearing and Staffordshire County Show is at the very heart of it. “For years we had no more than 20 competitors but last year we had a total of 84, a record, and about 800 sheep. This year we are looking at 120 competitors and about 1,000 sheep. “The sheep shearing has shared the Annex 1 building for years with the pigs, we had between a quarter and a third of the space, but this year the pigs have been relocated and we have the whole building. This will make a massive difference to ensure there is space for everyone including room for interested spectators to catch all the action.“We have also been granted permission to construct two new shearing stands which will greatly benefit the smooth running of the events. “The competition takes place on the first day of the show but we also have a full educational programme planned for the second day - shearing and wool handling demonstrations, spinning, felting and wool themed displays, making it an area of both entertainment and education for all. We are particularly keen to involve children and many of our sideshows will be hands-on activities for them. “The show is on the BISCA English Circuit and, for the first time this year, the Welsh Circuit where points are accumulated towards the English and Welsh Shearer of the Year Awards, making Staffordshire County Show one of the best sheep shearing competitions in the UK. “Circuit winners form the basis of the selection process to the English and Welsh national teams for the following year’s Six-Nations competition which also involves Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and France. The next World Championships will be held at the Royal Highland Show in 2022 with teams chosen at the end of next season. So the Staffordshire County Show will feature strongly in the battle for places next year.”  
             Mrs Cope added that sheep shearing was now recognised as a sporting event. “Last year the world championships were held in France and we saw a number of competitors coming to our show for practice. World and British records have been broken in the UK this year and a Welsh shearer is the current World Champion,” she said. “Staffordshire County Show recognises the skills required for this sport and it is our aim to provide facilities, sheep and personnel to preserve the reputation of British competitors.”
            The show takes place at the Weston Road showground on Wednesday and Thursday, May 27 and 28. For more information, please visit: www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk.
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Press Release 6/2/20 - Medieval Ropemaker's First Show Visit
 
Staffordshire County Show organisers have added a new twist to this year’s event with a unique attraction for fans of crafts and medieval times. The art of ropemaking will be in the spotlight at the two-day show, with a one-of-a-kind insight into how they were made in the dim and distant past. While other ropemaking demonstrations are presented using machines, Thomas Taylor is a true master of the ancient craft, using natural fibres and tools from the medieval period to recreate the process for making cordage, rope and nets.
Derbyshire-based Thomas is a member of the Heritage Crafts Association and will be entertaining visitors at the show’s Woodfest. Staffordshire County Show will be held at the Weston Road showground on Wednesday and Thursday, May 27 and 28, during the half-term school holiday.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, said: “We always pride ourselves on providing something to suit all ages and tastes at the show and I don’t think there will be too many visitors this year who will have seen the art of ropemaking as it was done in medieval times. “It’s a show first for Thomas and promises to be something not to be missed. He has put a great deal of effort and dedication into researching the art and making the tools and equipment of the period. His demonstrations are fully interactive, making it an experience which will live long in the memory. “His typical workshop covers an introduction to ropemaking, the natural products where the process starts, processing the plant using wooden tools, a flax break and scutching, combing and spinning methods. “The process then moves on to making the cordage with a hand-driven spinner before a hand-driven rope machine is used to create the finished product from the cordage. “It’s a fascinating process and just one of the attractions our visitors will be able to get involved with at Woodfest during the show. Woodfest, in Berryhill Oak Wood on the Stafford end of the showground, has a range of demonstrations of traditional woodland crafts during the two days. “Woodland and forest schools are real hot topics now, with all the concerns about the environment and what the future holds. Children have always loved Woodfest and seeing working demonstrations from bygone eras. They are becoming increasingly more knowledgeable about the importance of woodland and traditional crafts and love the educational value we provide at Woodfest.”
For more about Thomas, the medieval ropemaker, visit the website www.thomastaylorropemaker.net. For more about the show, visit www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk.
 Early bird tickets for the Show will be available to buy from the showground office and website from April 1st. Advance tickets will be available from all other outlets from May 1st.
 
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Press Rlease 6/2/20 - General Show Information
 
Staffordshire County Show never fails to impress with its many thousands of visitors each year kept fully entertained by an unrivalled programe of diversity - and this year promises to be another monster hit!
The Big Pete International Monster Truck Team will be the star attraction of this year’s Grand Ring programme at the Weston Road showground on Wednesday and Thursday, May 27 and 28, during the half-term school holiday. Big Pete is 16ft tall and 12ft wide, weighing in at 7.5 tonnes, can jump 15ft into the air and being paired with Grim Reaper makes for a truly incredible display. The Monster Trucks always prove a massive attraction wherever they go and are sure to wow the crowds at Stafford, alongside a fantastic further choice of family entertainment, food, crafts, vehicles of all shapes and sizes and lots for music and animal lovers.
Last year’s show reached record heights with the highest number of entries in sheep and cattle competitions in recent history. There were almost 800 entries to exhibit sheep, nearly 300 cattle and also increased numbers in horses, dogs and goat entries as around 65,000 visitors attended the event during the two days.
The boom in the popularity of sheep shearing competitions was seen at the show last year, resulting in further enhancements for this year with the competition taking place in a much larger area to house competitors, spectators and sheep, while an extra event has been added. This year it is anticipated there will be a record-breaking 120 competitors and about 1,000 sheep. This year the show is also included on the British Isles Shearing Competitions Association (BISCA) Welsh Shearing Circuit for the first time. It already features on the English Circuit - one of just 10 venues on the calendar nationally - making the show one of the top shearing events in the country.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive of the Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society, said: “This year promises to be another amazing event, a packed programme of diverse attractions covering the whole showground in what should be two days of action-packed activities with something to suit everyone. “We are all looking forward to the Monster Trucks while other Grand Ring programme attractions include our traditional livestock parade and the Scurry Drivers, a fast-paced display featuring teams of two ponies and riders competing against each other to see which will complete a course in the fastest time. “Wednesday’s showgoers will be able to see the parade of hounds and beagles, show jumping and a vintage machinery parade while, on Thursday, we will be welcoming the parade of young farmers’ floats. “Woodfest will include a medieval ropemaker for the first time, besom broom making, a mobile saw mill, clog making, basket making, horse logging, charcoal making, chainsaw carving and children’s activities. “The Country Pursuits area will feature the Sheep Show, Birds of Prey Display, Quack Pack, fly-casting demonstration and competition, ferret roadshow, donkey rides, exotic animal roadshow and horse shoeing.
 “There will also be live music, a craft fair, antiques fair, Young Farmers exhibition, woodland walks, WI exhibition and market, steam railway rides, display of rare breeds, Punch and Judy, bees and honey show, food hall and cookery theatre, motor show, floral arts, cookery and handicrafts competitions and 400 trade stands.
“With so much to see, it’s not difficult to understand why Staffordshire County Show continues to be one of the must-see events of the year.”
Early bird tickets will be available to buy from the showground office or the website www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk from April 1st. Advance tickets will be available from all other outlets from May 1st.
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Press Release 3/3/20 - County Show Children's Farm Aims to Inspire Next Generation
 
Farming certainly isn’t child's play but it can be extremely child-friendly as youngsters will find out at a special Children’s Farm attraction during this year’s Staffordshire County Show.
The new Children’s Farm is being organised by Staffordshire National Farmers’ Union (NFU) chairman and Penkridge farmer Richard Bower and his team as a fun way of explaining the importance of the farming industry to the next generation of farmers while also promoting local food. Youngsters will be able to get hands-on with animals on the stand and get involved with the NFU’s very popular Discovery Barn, an education facility which tours England and Wales each year, encouraging children to think about where their food comes from. It will form part of the Children’s Farm attraction for the two days of the show, on Wednesday 27 May and Thursday 28 May.
Mr Bower said: “We are really looking forward to working with the county show to present the Children’s Farm for this year’s event. It will be a way of saying thank you to Staffordshire farmers while inspiring future generations and promoting Staffordshire produce. “We will have educational displays, calves, lambs and chickens on the stand along with dig-your-own potatoes and we will be giving away seeds for children to plant at home. We will also be promoting the open farm we have at our Lower Drayton Farm in Penkridge - a working farm which has diversified into such activities as a play barn, pick your own pumpkins, lamb feeding week and bed and breakfast.”
Mr Bower added that it was more important than ever to place the spotlight on British food and farming. He said: “This is a massive time of change for our industry as we move away from the European Union Common Agricultural policy to our new domestic policy set by Westminster. “Also, the Government is trying to open borders to overseas markets and there are many opportunities to promote British produce and farming. There has never been a more important time for British farmers, and especially Staffordshire farmers, to promote the benefits of domestically-produced British food.
“As a third generation farmer at Penkridge, I am fully aware that I am continuing the good work of previous generations to ensure there is an opportunity for future generations to continue to farm. “I believe farming is about producing food, renewable energy, natural fibre, caring for the environment and providing public engagement opportunities - all of which we want to touch on with the Children’s Farm at the show. We also believe farming or working in the associated industries is a great career choice.”
The NFU Discovery Barn was part of the show for the first time in 2019 - one of 35 events it toured last year, attracting 57,000 visitors overall and proving a major visitor attraction wherever it went. It comes with a range of aids to help deliver the message, Let’s Talk Farming, including an impressive Virtual Reality area which lets visitors see exactly what it’s like to be a farmer and this year boasts even more 360 degree videos to view.
Staffordshire County Show takes place at the Weston Road showground, Stafford. For more information, please visit www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk.
Early bird tickets for the show will be available to buy from the showground office and website from April 1st. Advance tickets will be available from all other outlets from May 1st.
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