The Great Yorkshire Show is the one show that we commit to exhibit at every single year and this year we were extra excited off the back of our latest product launch, Harrogate Blue.
I had spent all Monday afternoon getting stock over to the event and getting the stand set up. This year we had two stands; one in the main food hall and another in the Cheese Hall Competition where Judy was going to be showing off our new cheese, Harrogate Blue and giving people a first look at our new branding. It was all going so well…
The problems started first thing on Tuesday morning. What was usually a hour journey from the farm to Harrogate Show Ground became 3 hours as the stewards struggled to cope with the amount of traffic and lack of suitable parking. Once in the ground I was instructed to park on one of the last few hard standing parking spaces as the stewards were not convinced they would be able to pull my van out of the mud should I get stuck on the grass. This eventually proved to be a very good decision!
Once we’d all recovered from the unusual start to the show, the rest of the morning was very successful. We had a lot of visitors to the stand and Harrogate Blue was tasting fantastic – great feedback from customers! We heard around lunchtime that Harrogate Blue had won an award for Best New Dairy Product at the show and Yorkshire Blue and Mrs Bells Blue had won a first in their category.
And thats when the rain started.
For a while we thought we were just super popular, however, we soon realised that it was the rain that had driven people into the Food Hall! We had two huge storms which completely soaked the entire show ground. Everywhere turned to mud.
We had more people tasting and more people buying, but we soon realised this was not to be a silver lining. Late in the afternoon rumours started to circulate that the show would be cancelled the following day. And possibly on Thursday! The equine show was definitely to be cancelled but they were hoping to keep the rest of the show going. By 7pm the news we were all dreading was confirmed – the show was cancelled! It must have been a heartbreaking decision for the show organisers to make – the first time in its 154 year history.
It took us the rest of the evening to break down the stand and pack up the rest of the stock. We did take a break to attend the already planned Welcome to Yorkshire BBQ … it was great and in true Yorkshire style we kept our chins up! Thank you to the Welcome to Yorkshire team for the invitation!
Finally, at about 11pm, I managed to get our van out of the show ground without much difficulty as I drove from my hard standing parking space past people spinning in circles on the fields of mud.
Getting on close to midnight we made it back to the farm. Gutted the show was cancelled but very proud of the awards we had won and all the wonderful feedback we had had from the public. We’ll look forward to next year and a little more sunshine!