SNP - Tom Wills

Community / This, that and everything on show in Cunningsburgh

Photos: Chris Cope/Shetland News

SHEEP, cattle, ponies, knitwear, pets, baking, impressively large vegetables and Scotland’s First Minister – the 75th Cunningsburgh Show just about had it all.

Nicola Sturgeon was in the village on Wednesday to indulge in Shetland’s largest agricultural show, while there was representation also from the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

But those suffering from by-election fatigue – yes, there’s still another two weeks to go – were probably more interested in the tups, heifers, flowers and fancies than the First Minister.

The official tally of entries as the day started sat at an impressive 2,661, keeping the judges busy on a day where, thankfully, the sun had its hat on, peering through the clouds.

There was, as usual, plenty on offer to see, from chickens, cows and sheep to tatties, photography and knitwear, although judging by the never-ending queues the ice cream van and the food stall were most popular with the punters.

There were a host of information stalls too, ranging from NHS Shetland, Rape Crisis Shetland and Mind Your Head to the National Farmers’ Union and the RNLI.

The committee estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 people were likely to have attended the show.

Joint secretary Sylvia Halcrow said the weather had been kind this year – “dry and bright and no midges”.

“It couldn’t happen without the helpers,” she added.

“The helpers come a couple of weeks beforehand and help put up the pens and the tents. We’re a relatively small committee, but there are a lot of folk that come and help every year without question.”

Fellow joint secretary Mavis Ross said it was a “busy field” this year.

“I think it’s the most outside trade stands that we’ve had in a long time. And it all seems to have fallen into place okay.”

The number of entries was up from last year, with cattle on the rise – as well as goats.

“We had to make a gazebo for the goats,” Mavis smiled.

“This is the first year at the Cunningsburgh Show that we have a gazebo for the goats.”

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