AROUND 10,000 people are expected to descend on Great Harwood on Bank Holiday Monday for the town’s annual show.
Bad weather has put paid to a number of similar events across the country in recent years, but the Great Harwood Show is a story of triumph.
Celebrating its 147th show this year and more attractions than ever before, the pace of the show’s success shows no sign of slowing down.
Geoffrey Hanson, who has been chairman of the organising committee for more than 40 years, puts the show’s enduring popularity down to a number of factors.
Mr Hanson, who describes himself as ‘80 odd’ because ‘that’s old enough’ said: “It’s in a beautiful location.
“Over the years we’ve moved from a five-acre field to a 44-acre field and it’s still packed out.
“The old field was next to a gas works but now we’re overlooking rolling fields and the beautiful scenery of the Ribble Valley. It’s just marvellous.
“The setting has got to be one of the reasons why it’s still so popular but I think we’ve always tried to change it a bit and bring something new each year.”
Mr Hanson’s family business is Hanson Feeds in Victoria Street and so he has a strong affiliation with animals and agriculture and of course, livestock will be a prominent feature at this year’s event.
But the show will also include a strong man competition, tug of war, ferret racing, a Bonsai display, dressage, donkey rides and even a dry stone walling demonstration.
For ‘Harwood born and bred’ Mr Hanson, and many others from East Lancashire, the show has been and continues to be a large part of life.
“I’ve got so many memories from over the years.
“But really it’s too hard to think of any particular ‘best’ memory.
“But really it has just been a pleasure and a real treat to be involved with it over the years.
“And to watch it evolve into the super show that it is today.”
The fun on Bank Holiday Monday will begin at 8.30am at the New Showfield in Harwood Lane.