Another June and another successful Royal Cornwall Show — marking one of the biggest events in the Cornish calender, there was three days of entertainment, trade stands and livestock to enjoy. 

Untraditionally, the sun made an appearance at this year show and just in time as a whopping 118,201 visitors and locals made their way down to Wadebridge. 

There was a huge amount to see and do at this year’s show including performances from Ben Atkinson and his beautiful ‘Liberty’ horse show, adrenaline pumping action from Paul Hannam’s quad bike stunt show, entertainment from the iconic Titan the robot, the massed parade of hounds, spectacular displays from the RAF Falcons parachute display team, mesmerising displays from the Iberian Horse show and of course the Kernow Vet Group inter hunt relay. 

Other events and displays included show classes from cattle, sheep, goats (big and pygmy), pigeons, rabbits, cider, blacksmithing, steam and vintage vehicles and much more. 

There was a huge amount of competition this year within the livestock categories and a few from the local area came out on top. Steven Ley And Hannah Payne from Liskeard won champion male with their Badger Face Texel, Bollowal Valiant exhibited by T Wilton from St Austell was crowned champion Devon male, Clowen Ivor exhibited by Mr A Collings from Launceston took home champion Welsh male and Futurityspot Lightning and Miss V Pappin from St Columb Major was awarded Champion British Spotted Pony.  

Show secretary Chris Riddle, said: “We had the most amazing weather for both the build-up and the staging of the Show, however we are not surprised that we are not quite at the attendance levels of 2022.

“We are really grateful for the support of all those that visit, compete and trade at the Show. The atmosphere that we have become known for really shone through, especially so in the livestock and equine sections, where we saw some of the highest competition, both in numbers and quality, we have seen for some time”

Stellar entries from Women’s Institutes

By Sheila GoldsworthyTalent is certainly prolific in the WI’s in Cornwall with the stellar entries in the WI Marquee at the Royal Cornwall Show in 2023. Visitors to the show could only stare in admiration at the expertise of the members skills. 

The main competition for the Royal Cornwall Show Cup competition was entitled “Our Green and Pleasant Land” with Ladock the winner of this prestigious Trophy. 2nd Pendeen. 3rd Mevagissey. 4h Illogan, and 5th Bodmin Gaolbirds. The Rosemary Slee Trophy for the best cookery item, Sharon Clemens, Duloe. The Yvonne Toms Trophy for the best craft item, Ann Tyzzer, Perranuthnoe. The Nan CollierTrophy for the best floral arrangement Sue Hocking, Pendeen. 

Winners of the Barbara Reed Trophy for an item of jewellery were Janet Burden, Trevone, 2nd Joy Hadley Bodmin Gaolbirds and 3rd Ann Tyzzer Perranuthnoe. The Floral Art Competitions organized by the Floral Art and Gardening Sub committee were Wadebridge Cup ”Clouded Hills” Mandy Nicholson, St. Dominic. Smale Cup, ”Burning Gold” Mary Symonds, Duloe. Penponds Cup “God save the King” Mandy Nicholson St Dominick. Pat Ward Novice Cup “Green and Pleasant Land” Lorna Curtis. Luxulyan and Lanlivery. 

What a marvellous experience to view all this flair and aptitude from our own very special members at the Royal Cornwall Show. 

However a vital aspect of the WI Marquee is that everyone is made very welcome and many visitors are just gasping for a friendly cup of tea, a sit down and chat which the WI offers in abundance. 

This was very evident this year with the tea ladies being kept on their toes all day while old friendships and familiar faces were acknowledged.

Impacts of social inequality discussed during show

More than £30-million in grant funding has been made available to farmers, growers and foresters to invest in equipment and technology that will enable them to increase productivity and environmental sustainability.  

Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Food and Farming, made the announcement at the Royal Cornwall Show in Wadebridge last Thursday. The funding forms part of the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) 2023, which has seen more than 3,000 applicants apply for grants. 

Over 90 pieces of equipment are available to claim, including rainwater harvesting tanks to reduce water scarcity for farmers in the summer; tree shears to help stop the spread of pests and diseases; camera-guided inter-row sprayers to help reduce herbicide usage; and equipment to minimise grass contamination and ammonia emissions when spreading slurry. 

“The tremendous interest shown in the FETF 2023 Productivity and Slurry underscores the determination of our farmers to drive ever more productive and sustainable farming practices to keep food on our plates whilst protecting our important landscapes and habitats,” said Dr Coffey. “By empowering farms to invest cash in new kit, we are ensuring our farmers, growers and foresters have the equipment they need to embrace innovation, protect the environment, and contribute to a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector.”

The minister also visited the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) stand, where she was introduced to chief executive Alicia Chivers, who urged her to continue dialogue with the charity about the unacceptable levels of poor mental wellbeing of the farming community. 

“Our Big Farming Survey found that 36% of the farming community are probably or possibly depressed and 47% are experiencing some form of anxiety,” said Ms Chivers. “We were still surprised that demand for our in-person counselling grew at over 12 times our forecast last year. 

“Farming people’s wellbeing can often be overlooked, which our experience tells us can lead to a downward spiral for farmers and their families. Collectively we need to consider what we can all do to better look after our farming communities. Easy access to mental health support is one of our key aspects to begin developing preventative programmes of support.”  

Dr Coffey also visited the Farm Cornwall stand, and met representatives from Davidstow and Rodda’s creameries. 

Therese Coffey Environment Secretary
Therese Coffey Environment Secretary (Adrian Jasper)

Two brothers from St Issey took matters into their own hands

Two Cornish children from St Issey took the Royal Cornwall Show arena by storm on Saturday (June 10)  with steam power. 

As ever, this years’ Royal Cornwall Show was eagerly anticipated by Thomas, 13, and his brother Benjamin, 8, because, keeping with their family tradition of several generations, they were taking their family steam traction engine to the show.

But as ever, they had to keep their and their engine’s head of steam low as, due to health and safety restrictions, their family Fowler steam tractor ‘Firefly’ was not allowed to parade in the main arena as is so often the case at steam rallies, and they were tucked away in a far corner of the show. 

This year, inspired by a national campaign to ignite a creativity revolution across the UK they took matters, and their steam engine into their own hands, literally. 

Working with Nick Corston, a dad visiting the area who co-founded the non-profit STEAM Co. that campaigns for, inspires and ignites creativity, they made a cardboard model of their engine with cardboard they found discarded across the show ground and, with the approval and clearance of the RCS ring master John Richards they took to the ring for a parade of honour. 

To celebrate the county’s creativity, the sense of community and real pride in the country’s industrial heritage, proving that the determined, creative and world beating spirit of Richard Trevithick, a British inventor and mining engineer, is alive and kicking in Kernow.

The boys’ mother, Di Boiling said: “The boys are very hands on and spend most weekends on the engines learning so much - engineering, lighting fires, safety. Steam engines are an important part of our culture here in Cornwall and we need to keep it alive for future generations”

Nick had visited their school, St Issey Primary, back in March 2022 as part of the ‘Mission To Mars 22 UK tour’  and their head teacher connected him with the family in advance of the show.