The Great Yorkshire Show returns next week, and it will be celebrating a very special birthday – its 160th – in great Yorkshire style.
I absolutely love the Great Yorkshire Show and, to prove it, I’ve been every year for … actually, I’ve lost count, between 10 and 15, I’d say.
Organised and run by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, the very first GYS took place in 1838 at the Barrack Yard at Fulford, York. To mark the anniversary, there will be a catwalk display of the sort of fashion those first visitors might have worn, designed Joanna Rishworth, from Keighley, a recent fashion graduate from Harrogate College. She found authentic fabrics at Abraham Moon & Sons in Guiseley, founded in 1837, and the tailoring work was by Brook Taverner of Keighley.
Also on the Kuoni catwalk will be a lovely collection of tweeds by Shepherdess, created by real-life shepherdess Alison O’Neill, who lives near Sedbergh and uses wool from her own flock. There will also be a preview of AW18 collections at John Lewis Leeds, plus Huff Equestrian, student collections, and a new bridalwear range called Drunk in Love Couture. Soprano Lizzie Jones will be taking part in a special celeb catwalk show (of which more later), dressed by the fabulous James Steward Couture, based in Wetherby. She will also be singing in the main ring on all three days.
Of course, there are animals, thousands of animals, competing in the judging rings, from pigs to pigeons, lots of cattle, loads of sheep, and the show will finish with one of the most prestigious showjumping competitions in the country, the Cock O’The North.
The Great Yorkshire Show is also a fabulous place for shopping and in the past, I’ve brought home baskets, chugs, garden statues, pink wellies… all sorts. The Country Living Pavilion is a favourite, showcasing the work of talented craftspeople and artisans, for home and garden, plus fashion, jewellery, accessories and gifts.
Expect lots of live entertainment and music, cookery demos, plenty of food and drink places, including Fodder & Fodder on the Hoof, a Street Food Court and a Prosecco & Gin Bar. Rosemary Shrager will be in the cookery theatre, as will BBC Countryfile presenter and Strictly Come Dancing star Anita Rani on the Tuesday, cooking up her favourite dish.
Anita will also take to the catwalk in the Kuoni Fashion Pavilion, at 2.30pm on Tuesday, July 10, dressed by the personal styling team at John Lewis Leeds. Bradford-born Anita will join a number of celebrities at this year’s show, including Lizzie Jones, as mentioned. Last year’s celebrity catwalk was great fun, with BBC Look North presenters Amy Garcia and Abbie Dewhurst, cricket legend Ryan Sidebottom, Leeds Rhinos legend Keith Senior and Yorkshire vets Peter Wright and Julian Norton all strutting proudly forth in Great Yorkshire tweed outfits. Keighley-based tailors Brook Taverner make the Yorkshire Agricultural Society jackets from the Great Yorkshire tweed, which is woven by Guiseley-based Abraham Moon & Sons.
I’m really looking forward to seeing John Lewis preview its autumn/winter 2018 collection including one of my faves, Kin by John Lewis, with styles influenced by Japanese and Scandinavian culture and design, featuring reworked silhouettes and a focus on detail. I’m wearing Kin as I write.
The fashion shows will be co-ordinated by Bernadette Gledhill of Morton Gledhill: The Fashion Team, a wonderful Yorkshire model agency and events organiser, with hair and make-up by students from the White Rose Beauty Colleges across Yorkshire.
*The 160th Great Yorkshire Show will be held on July 10-12 at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. The Kuoni Catwalk will take place each day at 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4pm. Tickets at www.greatyorkshire.show.co.uk/ticket-information, and can be bought from the following outlets: Yorkshire Agricultural Society Offices, Fodder Food hall and café (next door to the Society’s offices on the Great Yorkshire Showground) and Morrisons stores (throughout Yorkshire).