Sunday, 29 September 2019

Farmers' Day Out

They're a curious breed: farmers. Allow them a day off after the long toil of harvest and what do they do? More farming, in the shape of Gransden And District Agricultural Show. More precisely it's a chance to talk about farming, meet other farmers and, perhaps most importantly, compare how you're all doing.

The Gransden Show is still a real agricultural show and not, as a friend I met there said, "turning into another funfair". Neither is it an outdoor showroom for tractors and combines, which has become the focus of some shows in this area. All these elements are here but you'll also find lot of farm animals, garden produce and countryside crafts competing for those coveted rosettes.

The show dates back to 1891 and has been held annually, with the exception of the war years. The nineteenth century was a time of rapid innovation in farming and many agricultural societies grew up to share information. Gransden had a society for buying and sharing agricultural books as long ago as 1816. It was natural that friendly competition between farmers led eventually to setting up shows like this.

Having worked for some years on a farm I can tell you that that's a fine Large White Sow being paraded in the ring. It takes a lot of practice to be able to make a pig go where you want it to!

Miniature goats weigh up the competition in their class.

Horses of all sizes were in attendance from little ponies up to the mighty working horses.

Donkeys too. I think you can see just who is in charge of the set-up above!

There was quite a large marquee dedicated to Fancy Pigeons. These birds have been bred into all kinds of strange forms, some of which look grotesque to me, birds which can neither fly nor even walk without difficulty. I refuse to even photograph them. Others though are undoubtedly beautiful creatures.

A collection of vintage tractors stood over to one side of the showground. But there were also more modern pieces of machinery.....

… this huge Case Quadtrak. They are really huge as you can see from the man in the foreground. And with a frightening price tag too no doubt!

And I'd better not forget about the flower and produce section which had some amazing floral arrangements.

Tucked in a corner of one of the marquees were some "flopsy bunnies" and accompanying them was some sort of wallaby. I spent a while trying to get them in the same photo and eventally they edged closer together. And closer together. Then just as I pressed the shutter button....

….sometimes you just get lucky!

Take care.


  1. That's a very interesting show, love the flower arrangement. And of course the red vintage tractors always draw my attention.Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love the final shot. They still have similar shows here.

  3. The flopsy bunny looks none too happy crouched there, but what a great shot.

  4. The way that humans have selectively bred animals to exaggerate certain characters is more than a little problematic.

  5. What a wonderful event to attend. The perfect click, you got it in the last photo! Well done, John.

  6. This would be fun to visit...I would probably have loved the animals best of all. I still like to go to fairs just to see the animals. One of our daughters, when she was small, cried to bring home a little pig.

  7. Looks like a great farm show! Can't believe tractors have got so big.

  8. Surprisingly for a city person I really love agricultural shows and this looks like a beauty John. Not good about the cross bred birds, why do they even do that, it's horrible! There are some very fine looking animals here, kangaroos and wallabies have a habit of leaping off just as you click 😊

  9. How wonderful! A proper, old fashioned agricultural show. Love the wallaby, poor bunny looks a bit spooked by the jump:)

  10. What a grand show there. Wonderful photos, and that last shot is truly fantastic. Love this! (I deleted the original comment because it had a crazy typo. Whoops!)

  11. Beautiful creatures, big and small.
    Animals in the shows make me always a little bit worried, but for example the pig looks like she can often have refreshing walks.
    I have attended shows almost like that when I was a child - almost, because they were not as beautiful and interesting than this one.

  12. Yes, thats what a real Agricultural Show should be like John.
    Not sure about the Wallaby though don't quite know where that fits in.

  13. Miniature goats!!! Awww! Also good timing on the rabbit and wallaby hop!

  14. Thanks for your invitation to the Gransden Show with such interesting different attractions. Your camera must have been busy clicking, and you captured the moment of wallaby jumping and bunny with surprised eye. And I’d better not forget to tell that you were diplomatic to have included the flower arrangement.


  15. That last photo, perfect! And the big tractor, I have to admit gives me shudders. Cannot imagine anything like it on this hilly land. Loved the big ol pig, and the Hereford--my favorite breed of cattle. We had a polled Hereford cow once that liked wearing a hat. She was so funny.

  16. I’m wondering what a wallaby is doing in an English ag fair?!! I think the bunny might be wondering the same!


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