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County Show preparations well in hand

By Georgia Clyne

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A young cattle handler at the 2017 County Show in Wick.
A young cattle handler at the 2017 County Show in Wick.

The show will be held at Thurso East on Friday, July 20, and Saturday 21st, with a wide selection of entertainment from agricultural shows to magicians and trade tents. This year’s president Henry Gunn promises there will be “something for everyone.”

Caithness Agricultural Society secretary/treasurer Tracy Alexander said: “We are fully under way with our preparations and with the help of all our committee members are looking forward to getting the show set up.”

She says they are very happy with the amount of entries, despite numbers being down slightly due to the Sutherland Show being held on the same day.

Mr Gunn said: “We’re nearly there – everything should fall into place in the next couple of weeks.”

In preparation, the Caithness Agricultural Society is doing a flag day cycle from last year’s showfield to this year’s one while fundraising for a good cause. This year the money raised will go towards the autism centre at Mount Pleasant Primary School, which Mr Gunn says is a charity close to his heart.

Some parents will also be co-ordinating in the effort to raise as much as possible. On the day, small charities are not being charged for the first bit of land for their tents in a show of community spirit.

Mr Gunn is confident that the ground will remain in good condition after the recent dry spell. Although he added: “Young folk aren’t bothered about rain and mud and have colourful welly boots for their pop concerts.”

By providing entertainment for all ages, Mr Gunn hopes the organisers will spark an interest in the show for years to come. He says that if youngsters come and have fun they are more likely to attend as teenagers, then bring their own families as adults.

“I’ve only missed one county show in my lifetime,” Mr Gunn added. “When I was one and a half it was an awful day and my mother decided not to take me. I’ve been to 57 out of 58.”

The social aspect is what makes the County Show a great event, according to Mr Gunn. “It’s a meeting of the people – a good occasion,” he said. “Some come from out west, Sutherland, Orkney. You always meet someone new.”

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