As an Event Photographer covering Birmingham, Warwickshire & the West Midlands I always get excited when I am booked to photograph Annual Family Shows. They are always full of exciting photo opportunities, great atmosphere & mostly good weather. No more so than the Whitacres & Shustoke Horticultural Society Annual Show. Although in the first half of the 1980’s the show was actually held at a number of different venues, thankfully Sir William Dugdale agreed to host the show at Blyth Hall in Shustoke & it has remained here for 30 years. The great thing about being settled at the site for a long period means the show is set out perfectly – with eating & drinking areas, craft stands, art & photography exhibitions, Horticultural marquee, horse & dog shows, children’s fairground, vintage vehicles, live trailer stage & not forgetting the main ring.
This is where some amazing displays are shown throughout the day, including Horse Classes, Falconry Centre Display, Vintage Motorbike Display, Vintage Car Parade & a show stopping set from The Stannage Stunt Team (where team leader Mark actually sets his wife Janine on fire. yes, on FIRE. I know – crazy!) Visitors always have a wonderful time & it’s very heartwarming walking around seeing all the excited faces from children who get to hold snakes, stroke ferrets & eat ice cream. Of course the Adults get their share of fun with a cheeky pint or two, some great street food & live music from both Maria Barham & Wild Irish.
The Whitacres & Shustoke Show dates back to 1887 & now, as then, is organised by local volunteers who are members of the Whitacres & Shustoke Horticultural Society. They meet once a month to plan the annual Spring & Summer show & have a proud record of supporting local groups & causes. Money from the Society also funded various improvements to local village halls, together with a donation to Macmillan Nurses. So not only a wonderful gathering of community but help to great causes & local projects too. Bring on next year! I wonder if we can book the sunshine again….??
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