The Village Show: A Great British Tradition

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One of the Foreign Students team describes his experiences of a traditional English village show that took place at the weekend, with everything from giant leeks, to sheep dog displays.                                                                                                                                                _____________________________________

On Saturday I hopped on a train out of London and within an hour I was in a country village called Chalfont St. Giles. It was where I grew up and I had come back for one of the great British traditions- the annual Village Show.

Every year, a field in the centre of the village is taken over by stalls, tents and fairground rides as thousands of people from miles around come to enjoy a day out. This happens in villages up and down the UK every summer, each competing to be the biggest and best in the local area.

Animals and Competitions

This year, the theme for the Chalfont St. Giles show was farm animals, so there were pens dotted around with cows, sheep, horses, rabbits and pigs. There was also a reptile tent where you could hold a snake or, for some unknown reason, see some meerkats. Alongside these more exotic animals, there was the annual dog show, where local people compete against each other in a type of mini, low-budget Crufts. It was here about 10 years ago that our family dog won ‘Dog the Judge Would Most Like to Take Home'- a sympathy award for badly behaved dogs, but a proud moment for all involved.

Another of the most anticipated parts of any village show is the competitions. People can enter dozens of competitions in everything from flowers, to photographs, to homemade honey. However, the highlight has got to be the odd looking vegetable category. I dare anyone to look at a deformed potato or carrot and not laugh. Just look for yourselves at any of the examples below:

Strange Vegetable

Strange Vegetable

Strange Vegetable





Whilst the competitions were going on in the tents, the main ‘arena' (a piece of grass with some rope around it), was hosting numerous displays. In the space of a couple of hours, I saw a sheep dog herding some geese, a falcon chasing children and a group of horse riders performing stunts (pictured above). Nowhere else can you get such entertainment for a fiver!

All of this was washed down with some local ales and a BBQ. What more could you ask for on a sunny Saturday afternoon?

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