This article was written for the News & Star.
Last Saturday I attended the Cumberland Show, where for the second year in a row it was held in the new location at Warwick-on-Eden. The show has been a significant event in the local calendar for a long time now, organised as the main show by the Cumberland Agricultural Society who have been promoting agriculture and rural life for more than 180 years.
The location, I have to say, is very good as it is easily accessible but also compact enough to create a lovely atmosphere. Combined with some fantastic weather, it really did make for a successful and enjoyable day – with plenty of ice-cream consumed!
I had a pitch at the show – as did my colleague Mark Jenkinson MP – which gave us both an opportunity to speak to constituents in a more informal way, and allowed a focus on rural issues which can sometimes be overlooked.
It was also great to see a significant increase in trade stands compared to last year. I do think is a positive sign that we are moving on from the pandemic, which interrupted the show for two years. It is incredibly encouraging to observe the promotion of local organisations and support of Cumbria’s unique rural life through the many parts of the show. It was also pleasing to see the number of attendees and the clear enjoyment that was had on the day.
Obviously, the good weather certainly helped! But what made the show was the plethora of impressive outdoor trading areas, as well as a Craft Marquee, Country Living Arcade, and Food Hall – all helping to celebrate the richness of the agriculture, cuisine, and art that Cumbria can boast of. All credit to the organisers in ensuring it was a success.
It is important that we commemorate our region’s exceptional events, such as this, which demonstrate a thriving Cumbria. The Society that organises the show is a member of the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations and the North West Federation of Show Societies, helping to keep the vividly rich history and culture of our area alive and thriving.
Of course, we should not forget that this is not the only show in the area. Over the summer, there will be many other shows – the Dalston Show, for example, which I have attended for years and is a real gem.
These shows are a traditional part of our history, reflecting how the area (including the city of Carlisle itself) has been shaped by rural communities and rural culture. But they are also a fantastic day out for the family, and a great way to meet people while experiencing some to the best produce that Cumbria has to offer! Long may they continue to thrive and prosper, and I hope to see many of you in the future at one of these events.