THE 163rd annual Moorgreen Country Show once again proved a major August Bank Holiday crowd puller.
Despite worries about the weather, about 10,000 people flocked to the two-day event at Front Park, Watnall, which had a new layout this year.
There were spells of brilliant sunshine on Sunday and although black clouds hovered above the 40-acre showground on Monday, the rain kept off for most of the day.
The event attracted more interest than usual this year as many other agricultural shows across the country had been called off because of persistent heavy rain earlier in the summer.
The spectacular dancing diggers from J.C.Balls have now become a major feature of the show programme.
The JCB drivers never cease to amaze with their precision manoeuvres and they impressively overcame the challenge of performing on a heavy surface in the main arena.
Dancing of a different kind was provided by Jive Pony, which was making its show debut. The act comprises two girls from the Cotswolds, Rebecca Townsend and Amy Panter, who perform daring stunts on the backs of their mounts, Ronan and Navvi.
Also at Moorgreen for the first time was the East Midlands Rat Club. Formed in 2001, it encourages people to keep rats as pets and to exhibit them.
Club chairman Ellie Cadman said: “Rats like human company and being held in the hand. Children tend to love them.” Ellie herself has 60 rats, which she keeps in a spare room at her home.
An attraction ideal for anglers in the village green marquee was a demonstration by Wendy Gibson’s Giltbrook fly-tying and fishing techniques group.
The East Midlands Dowsing Group, which has strong Hucknall links, also put on a display. Visitors were invited to try their hand at searching for underground water with V-shaped rods.
Also represented was the Ashfield Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, based at the Acacia Centre in Annesley Woodhouse, which encourages people to take an interest in these ancient crafts.
Hucknall, Eastwood and Kimberley were well to the fore in the churches’ tent, which featured a display depicting the life of Jesus.
The 100-year history of tractors was the theme in a special procession of farm vehicles, while classic car entries included an original model-T Ford and a Rolls-Royce.
The top trophy-winning shire horse was Red Brae Susannah, owned by the Sessions family from Derbyshire’s Ashbourne area.
A feathered celebrity at the show was Gizmo, a parrot which has met the Queen, and hilariious pig races attracted spectators of all ages.
As if for the benefit of Hucknall visitors to the show, Eric Coates’s ‘Knightsbridge March’ was played on an 1897 Gavioli fairground organ.
The new show secretary, Allison Pilling, said she was delighted with the public response.
“I am so relieved that everything came together after all the hard work that is involved,” said Allison.
“After all the rain of the last few weeks, including a heavy downpour on Saturday night, we felt quite nervous about how it would turn out but fortunately the ground drained well.
“I would like to make special mention of the site manager, Pete King, who did a great job.”
John Mason, of an Eastwood-based vets’ surgery which has covered the show for many years, is stepping down after three years as the show president.
He said: “I thought the show went very well this year and everyone seemed to enjoy it.”