THE Royal Cheshire County Show lived up to its ‘bigger and better than ever’ promise for 2018, with thousands of people enjoying two days of top quality entertainment, demonstrations and displays at the Tabley Showground.

The show is celebrating its 180th anniversary this year, and featured more than 700 trade stands, the iconic Tabley Eye and the return of the jaw-dropping display by the Bolddog Lings, among a top line-up offering something for everyone.

The Roberts Bakery Food Halls hosted more than 100 local and regional producers, and the Village Green offered live entertainment including Jeepers Jazz, the Chester, Knutsford, Sandbach and Warrington Rock Choir, a brass band and Morris Men.

Cheshire’s rich farming history was represented by hundreds of exhibits, including livestock, poultry, light and heavy horses, and the display in the Delamere Dairy Main Ring marked the society’s 180th anniversary and showed farming through the ages, with shire horses drawing farming implements of yesteryear.

Cheshire Agricultural Society chairman Tony Garnett said it was a great pleasure to welcome The Duke of Gloucester to the show, and thanked everyone for attending and taking part in the event in its special year.

Society president Henry Brooks said the show was the cornerstone of the society’s work to support local farming, agricultural and rural-related businesses, and it was ‘wonderful’ to see the huge variety of support it enjoyed.

Sue Yates from Delamere Dairy, the principal partner of the Main Ring, said on Tuesday: “We have been here every year, and have been very busy – our cheeses are probably the most popular thing on the stall we are selling today – the mild cheese, the medium cheese and the Greek-style cheese as well.

“We are here because we are a local company - we are known for our good quality products and a good quality brand name.

“The point of us being here is to get our name to a wider audience and to show that we’re a local company, and we’re here and we’re here to stay.

“From a customer service point of view I like it because you get to meet your customers who buy your products on a weekly basis, who like your products, and it’s nice to get feedback from them – it’s nice to come out and see everybody.”

This year marked the debut at the show for Groobarbs Wild Farm at High Legh, which was launched four years ago.

Rebecca Fryer from Groobarbs said on Tuesday: “We grow 50 different types of fruit and veg on the farm and deliver that in veg boxes in the local area.

“It’s our first time at the show, and it’s a great chance to us to meet more customers.

“Obviously we are hoping there’s going to be a lot of people from our local area, and we are here to talk to people about the farm and to try and interest them in the veg.

“We invite them to the farm as well to come and visit. The reaction to our stand has been really positive – obviously because we are so local as well it’s great to have proper local veg – it is grown down the road.

“Everyone has really welcomed us here, and we will hopefully be back next year.”

Men in Sheds caught the eye of the judges at this year’s show with the variety of beautifully-produced items on the Hartford group’s stand.

The group was delighted to win an unexpected second prize rosette in the trade stand competition.

Gus Glynn, project co-ordinator, said: “This is our second year at the show, and we come here partly to assist our fundraising because we raise a certain amount of funds for the upkeep of the sheds, but we find it’s also a good place to advertise that Men in Sheds exists.

“We do meet people who have never heard of Men in Sheds - believe it or not - and we enlighten them as we go.

“The point of Men in Sheds is the wellbeing of older men – it’s a place for them to socialise and to relax and enjoy experiences and stories and basic social interaction.

“We received the rosette for having such a varied stall – we didn’t expect that at all. It was a very nice surprise - we didn’t even know they were giving our rosettes.”

One of the popular attractions at this year’s show was the Music Bowl Bandstand programme, which featured performances by numerous local schools including Davenham Primary, Oaklands, Little Leigh primary, Comberbach primary, Holmes Chapel Comprehensive, Wilmslow High and Goostrey Primary.

Neil Oxley, head teacher at Oaklands School in Winsford, said he was ‘incredibly proud’ of the school choir, which performed on Tuesday.

“I started at the school in January, so this is the first time I’ve been to the Cheshire Show, and the first time I’ve seen my school choir in action,” he said at the show.

“I am incredibly proud – it’s all driven by the music teacher, who spends a lot of time with the children – it’s about building the children’s self-esteem, co-operation and their communication.

“We are a school with children with special educational needs, complex and moderate learning difficulties – so there’s lots of things the children need to overcome to get to the point where they’re here today and perform so confidently in front of the crowd – I was absolutely amazed – they were brilliant.”

Oaklands were followed on stage by the choir and wind band from Davenham Primary School, which performed simultaneous singing and signing for the crowds.

Paula Duncan, an SEN teaching assistant at the school, said on Tuesday: “This is my first time at the show – I have come with Joshua because I support him – he’s due to move on to high school. I am his support within school, and I have worked from year one with him right up to year six.

“Joshua has very limited speech, and it’s very inclusive with him at school, where the majority of the children sign.

“We are classed as a signing school – we use Maketon signing – and we are doing songs from our year six leavers production Matilda, which we did signing with.

“This particular year we are with are very musical – they love signing, and they love signing because Joshua has always been with them.”

Pictures by Create Photography 07884 205255-  see this week's paper for pictures from the show