Lots to See and Do
Set in 30 acres of Essex countryside in the village of Orsett, the annual Orsett Show is a great day out with attractions for all the family and is one of, if not the, most popular family event in Thurrock. It's one of the oldest one-day Country Shows in England, with the 112th Show taking place on Saturday 1 September 2018.
Being a registered Charity run mainly by volunteers, the aim of the Orsett Show is to promote countryside matters, the borough of Thurrock and local businesses. Some 300 Companies, Schools, Organisations and Charities came together to promote their businesses, sell products, inform and network in a fun filled family day attended by just under 11,000 people in 2016.
At the Show, there are marquees featuring Horticulture, Agriculture, Hobbies & Handicrafts, Schools, Craft Stalls and over 150 Trade Stands. There's an ever-changing programme of exciting displays in the Grand Display Ring and events and competitions throughout the day in the Horse Rings. There's certainly something for everyone at the Orsett Show!
At this years show we will have a classic car display. The vehicle display is only open to Members of The South Eastern Vintage & Classic Vehicle Club.
2018 President !
It was a great honour to be asked to be President of the 2018 Orsett Show – the 112th. I had the most marvellous day, visiting a lot of the stands and chatting to all the people who volunteer to make this the best country show in the south of Essex.
As a farmer, I am always looking at the weather forecast, as it affects everything we do on the farms around Orsett and West Tilbury. However, this week I was especially anal about checking on the prospects for 1 September – Show Day. It looked OK at the beginning of the week, and by the end it was clearly going to be a lovely, sunny autumn day. And so it proved.
My day started in the Agriculture marquee where I was able to do a bit of stewarding as usual – looking after the judge of the potato classes. I assure you that it was pure coincidence that one of our own samples won the main potato class! It was then on to a tour of the showground, stopping from time to time to speak to the stand-holders. It is only then that you realise how much effort goes into making the show the wonderful event it is.
All of the preparation of produce, flowers, art and craft exhibits and competition entries, the horse grooming and riding practice, the dance stage at which we spent a good 20 minutes admiring the work of the local theatre in encouraging our aspirant artistes. Then it was on to the steam engine area where these magnificent fire-breathing leviathans of yesteryear were being spruced up for their time in the show ring.
A real highlight was the President’s lunch. After a short reception my guests (our local MPs, the Mayor, show sponsors and other dignitaries) and I enjoyed a delicious cold buffet while watching the grand ring displays. Of special note was the parade of farm machinery at 1.30pm, where all of the local farmers show how the land is managed through the year up to the culmination of the harvest. Our son Toby drove one of grain trailers to show how the combine can discharge its load of some 8-10 tonnes of grain while still harvesting.
I then had the honour of presenting the cups for the agriculture classes, and also some awards to farm staff for their long service. These included 5 of our own farm staff whose service added up to 208 years! One person has done 57 years and still comes in every day. How lucky we are to have such a dedicated workforce.
Finally, it was a great pleasure to throw a tea party for show helpers, family and friends. Plenty of gossip and banter from the 120-plus guests brought the show to a most pleasant conclusion. It is a day I shall never forget, and long may the Orsett Show continue its wonderful work of bringing town and country closer together.
PRESIDENT OF THE 2018 ORSETT SHOW