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‘A year in the life of a Hope Show President…’

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Alastair Sneddon, reviews his year as Hope Show President in 2012.

 “A week is a long time in politics, but 12 months as President of Hope Show has passed very quickly.  Indeed when one receives the Chain of Office in March, the show itself in August seems a long time away, but as I am sure my predecessors have discovered this time passes at the speed of a galloping horse.“ 

Following the AGM it is the task of the President to represent and promote Hope Show on every possible occasion and specifically at events arranged by kindred associations.

The year commences with Bamford Sheep Dog Trials a relaxed and enjoyable day and last year the President was Mrs Mary Simpson of Shireoaks, Chapel en le Frith who laid on an excellent lunch for us all.  It is with great sadness that I report that Mrs Simpson died very recently.   She was a great character and a staunch supporter of such events.  Despite reduced mobility she enthusiastically turned out and fulfilled her duties as Bamford President and gave every impression of enjoying herself very much into the bargain.  We were delighted to welcome her in August as a guest of Hope Show

Bakewell Show was the next fixture with the President being Mr Geoffrey Crawford and we were his guests at the Pre-Show dinner prior to one of the few shows not affected by the weather although it was touch and go whether the show would go ahead and there was much dangerous speculation in advance as there had been with so many other shows. 

Dovedale came up trumps with the weather and produced a very pleasant day as guests of Mr Clifford Prince. 

The President’s summer tour is completed in September at Longshaw with activities billed on the programme as “A day on the Moors”.  Quite who came up with this description is unclear, but it conjours up an image of striding through waist high heather rather than the reality of consuming a very pleasant lunch in a tent overlooking the trial field as guests of the president Mr David Stone.

The year culminates in the Hope Show itself…
The President’s role being to feed, water and entertain Hope Show Presidents past and future together with the show’s official guests and some of our own relatives and friends.

But before all this the President’s official tour of the show must take place directed by the Show’s Chairman and featuring two notable highlights these being the President's Lady judging the poultry and the children’s cade lambs.  These two tasks require the Wisdom of Solomon and the diplomatic skills of a Cypriot finance minister. 

We then retired to the safe haven of our tent to entertain the Show’s and our guests and enjoy an excellent lunch provided by the two Lesleys operating as Heart of the Peak. 

It was at this point the profound feelings of guilt set in as we sat amongst friends who had travelled from Southampton in the South to Campbell Town on the Mull of Kintyre to the North whilst the faithful foot soldiers of Hope Show braved hell and high water to keep the event running to plan. 

I make no apology for saying that we had a fantastic day as did our guests,” the majority of whom waxed lyrical with their letter of thanks.  Many had not been to Hope Show before and a recurring theme was that they wished they had arrived earlier because there was so much that they wanted to see. 

So there you have it.  The show took place when many others never even had that chance and those who attended it thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  The magic of Hope Show with its livestock, be they sheep, cattle, alpacas, hens, dogs, sheep or gun dogs, horses heavy or light alongside classic cars and tractors was alive and well if a little damp. 

In many regards Hope Show’s magic is due to the fact that it has not changed from being a proper traditional county show when so many have, and have lost their way.  We don’t need a massive change, just enough to attract a further element of a previously untapped audience to add the right stuff to what we already have. 

It is at this stage in the proceedings that I would like to thank everyone that made our year run so smoothly.  I do not propose to be too specific but would recognise the efforts that everyone has made with regard to the show so thank you all. 

I would however, like to thank your Chairman Peter Atkin for his sage advice, to Ginny for all her help and to Steve Fox and Dave Chapman for their guidance on the procedure and etiquette every Show President is supposed to know, apparently by instinct! 

Our year is now concluded and it is now time to hand over to a new President Mr Roger Dickson, to preside over yet another successful year for Hope Show.

Hope Show this year is on 26th August, Bank Holiday Monday.