Stokesley is a market town in rural North Yorkshire with a well established agricultural past and community. The origins of the annual fair stretch back to 1223, when Henry III granted Stokesley, a charter to hold an annual fair. The third week in September now marks a very busy week in the social calendar for this rural community.
The fairground rides and attractions begin to arrive from the Sunday before fair week, and within a few days are in full operation, providing hair raising rides, and more traditional pastimes side by side. The variation of hi-tech rides, which spring from articulated vehicles like sci-fi "transformers", low tech traditional fortune tellers, and small merry go rounds, mingle with the established Georgian buildings of the historic High Street, which to any visitor to the town may prove an unusual sight.
The 'first night' of the fair is Wednesday; neon lights, loud beating music, the typical fairground aromas of hot dogs, and candyfloss, bring the otherwise sleepy community alive !
The rural High Street is brought to life for three evenings with bright lights, loud music, smoke and mirrors. The events culminate on Saturday, when the rides are open for a full day and late night. The High Street is then again transformed, and Sunday brings quiet normality as the rides disappear, folded back into their articulated homes, moving on to the next town fairground.
The Show must go on...
The Agricultural show is the big annual day for the Yorkshire community and visitors from near and far.
The inaugural show was in 1859, and has run every year since, except for 1914-1919 for the Great War; 1939-1945 for World War ll; and more recently in 2001, when it was cancelled due to an out break of foot and mouth disease.
Stokesley Show is billed as the North's largest One-Day show and is certainly a vibrant day which appeals to all of the senses. It is held on a large show ground near to the central High Street of Stokesley, a North Yorkshire Market town, and if the weather is amenable (as it was for this year's show on Saturday 19 September 2015) then a fabulous day is in the bag!
Visitors can expect a varied array of trade stands; craft and gift stalls; food stalls; tea tents; exhibition marquees showing everything from goats, chickens, rabbits, ferrets, and vegetables, to flowers and preserves! Music and other entertainment just as the quintessential brass band provide the perfect accompaniment to the abundance of agriculture on display. Horses, cattle, sheep of every description, goats, horse riding, and dressage. It is a massive logistical exercise and is run with military precision to ensure a fun and safe day is had by all!
This was our first visit, and I was certainly impressed by the variety of stalls and events on offer. Some very fine livestock was on show and in competition, and certainly showed the best of what Yorkshire has to offer.