Village Shows

At the centre of any community is tradition. Some people may scoff at this and think we are talking nonsense. These are often the very people you only see going from their car to their house or vice versa. They are known by the community in vague terms, as in, 'Such and such a person at number thirty-four, I think he works in computers' and, 'Her at number twelve may be a teacher'. It is always inevitably followed by, 'We've never asked'. This isn't the royal 'we', it is the community 'we', the network of neighbours and friends that underpin any community. We've never asked means that someone has asked and has been brushed aside or worst still they have never seen them to ask. It is said in one village near us that if you kick one of them they all limp. In the village we live it is said they beat drums to tell everyone the news. When someone new moves in they are made to feel welcome by the majority but sometimes that welcome is not reciprocated. I don't want to dwell on such horror stories, all I want to point out is that a community is a living, breathing, organic creature and when parts of it are just used as second homes, or homes for commuters who never seem to have the time to get to know anyone, then part of that creature dies and the whole of the community suffers. That is why traditions are important and why tradition should be important to you. You all in someway have traditions, be it Morris Dancing, following a band or going to the chippie on a Friday night. Tradition is something that is upheld, and done year after year, week after week and day after day. In the community we live in there are many villages and hamlets with their own traditions but there is one that those born here and those who have moved here can really, literally, sink their teeth in to.

It is the village show. This tradition once seen as fusty and obsolete harking back to a bygone age is going from strength to strength in the UK. It has been called the new rock and roll of community. Maybe the new jam and roll would be more fitting. It pits young against old in battles of jam making, bread baking, cake icing, flower arranging and the Daddy of them all, the largest vegetable. Here at these shows you will see teenagers battle their parents to win a trophy. Even at the show we attended there was the kind of good natured rivalry that translates into good natured help. 



Communites that still have village shows understand that on one day, a community can show its strengths, its support for others and welcome new comers. It doesn't matter if there is no show in your area, start one. It doesn't matter if you're in a city or in the middle of the countryside, start one. You'll be amazed at who makes the best jam, or who is a secret flower arranger, in our case the local Doctor. 

flower arranging

All I'd ask if you enter something for a village show, you leave it to be auctioned, the money goes to supporting the show and the simple act of donating for auction speaks volumes about how you want to be seen in a community.

cake, gorgeous

And remember, if you win at a show you may win money and a trophy. So when the auction comes round dip your hand in your pocket. Carol bought a loaf of bread and I bought Carol a beautiful bunch of flowers. This simple act of giving all round means the community is happy and my wife is happy too. 

natural flower arrangements

flowers from your garden

This is the first show we've attended as a family and we were made to feel welcome. There is nothing that brings people together more than a homemade slice cake, a homemade pork pie, a cup of tea and a desire to point at vegetables and say, 'Look at the size of that!'

giant onions