BELFORD VILLAGE SHOW - September 30th 2023
A onetime vicar of Belford, the Rev Charles Robertson was the main instigator for the formation of the Floral and Horticultural Society. The first ever show was held in the grounds of Belford Hall on 12th September 1884. The Patrons were the squire, Mr George D Atkinson- Clark of Belford Hall and Mr J.T. Leather of Middleton Hall.
Despite the gloomy weather, well over 400 people made their way to the Village Football Field for the 105th Belford Village Show, on Saturday 30th September 2023.
They were treated to wonderful afternoon of entertainment, with high quality displays of fruit and vegetables, flowers and flower arranging, arts and handicrafts, potatoes grown in a bucket, model making, photography and baking, all lovingly prepared and entered by not only Villagers, but also from further afield. One of the biggest entries was for a Northumberland Tea Loaf, to a set recipe, and the Judges enjoyed tasting them all. Working in collaboration, the children from Belford Primary School had also been encouraged to take part; and it was good to see how well they had taken up the challenge and produced some excellent results, in a variety of categories, which attracted much interest from the visitors.
Each category was judged by invited guests, eminent in their field, with 25 trophies awarded to those deemed to be the best in their section. The overall trophy for ‘Best In Show’ was decided by the Show’s President, William McLaren, and was awarded to Paula McEwen for her wonderful handicraft work.
Following on from last year’s success, this year’s Dog Show was even more popular with entries from dogs of all shapes and sizes, in numerous categories ranging from Waggiest Tail to Most Appealing Eyes. Jonas, the Labrador, was awarded the prize for ‘The Most Handsome Dog’ and was also judged to be ‘Best In Show’.
To keep up everyone’s spirits, there was a variety of food and drink available, from Fish & Chips to artisan cakes and pastries and ice creams, all from local business outlets. There were demonstrations going on throughout the afternoon from beekeeper Mark Swearman, as well as local willow weavers Anne Otley and Christine Shield.
The Show is organised and run by a Committee of Villagers and all costs are funded by monies raised by events throughout the year, as well as sponsorship from local businesses and donations for local charity organisations. All the money raised on the day will be ploughed back in to stage next year’s Show, which will be held on the traditional last Saturday in September. As well as the Committee, there is also a small army of volunteers who help to make the day a real community event and a highlight of the Village calendar. The Chairperson of the organising committee, Janet West, said “a huge thank you to everyone, you put so much into yesterday and worked so well, a fantastic team. There were so many compliments, how smoothly it ran, how well organised, one woman said ‘no sense of panic!’“.