The final event of the Nidderdale Agricultural Society 2009 calendar year was held last week in Pateley Bridge. The show’s annual dinner at the Pateley Bridge Memorial Hall catered for over 160 committee members and guests.This year the society was honoured to have Elizabeth Buchanan, the Prince of Wales former Private Secretary as it’s guest speaker. Elizabeth who spent 10 years as the Princes’ Private Secretary was instrumental in securing his visit to the Nidderdale Show in 2003. Elizabeth has been a regular visitor to the Nidderdale area, her Grandfather lived in Ramsgill, she still has family connections in Ramsgill and friends throughout the dale. Accompanied to the Dinner by her mother also Elizabeth she recalled many memories of the dale, including the stories her mother told her of hacking to the show from Ramsgill on their pit pony. She also recalled flying over the dale on official engagements with the Prince of wales and pointing out the farms and villages, where she knew many of the locals. Guests were delighted to hear that the Prince sent his regards to all connected with the show.
Elizabeth described the sense of connection she has with the local community and still to this day feels very close to. Elizabeth herself an organic farmer, stated that hill farmers represent all that is best in British farming, battling against the elements and the government regulations to produce fantastic food for this nation, maintaining the culture of a family farm loving and caring for the farm just as parents past did.
Afterwards guests were well entertained by comedian, Chris Briton from Oldham and well fed by Haregill Lodge Catering from Ellingstring, Masham.
Show President John Fawcett spoke of his first ever Show Dinner in 1959, which was at the Kings Arms pub in Pateley Bridge High Street and was a men only affair. He recalled the past year, his first as Show President, and said thanks to all who helped and supported him including the previous President Dave Smith and his wife Ann. He stated that 2009 had been a good year for the show, blessed with a dry August and September the grounds were the best they had been for sometime, even though Show day itself may have been a little damp!
The Society also chose the evening to honour four lifetime achievers Audrey Summersgill, Fred Spence, David Prince and previous president David Smith, who were presented with life membership badges by President John Fawcett in recognition of their many years of service and dedication to the show.
The Society also took the opportunity to thank Ian hall the retiring Show Sponsorship Secretary for his all his hard work and effort over the past years and the time he has dedicated to this role, and welcomed Janet Winder as the new show secretary.