Great Yorkshire Showtime comes round again: three days of horse, sheep, cattle showing; men in appallingly coloured trousers and dodgy merchandise.
Three days in which farmers and townies are coralled together in a showground on the edge of the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate, with the prospect of quagmire or just muddy clothing adding to the mix.
I attended my first GYS on a school trip in 1976. Aged 14, and sporting my best grey-flared trousers, complete with non-school approved turn-ups, along with my blazer and tie (and all this in the middle of the hottest Summer I’d then known), I saw animals judged by arcane and indecipherable standards – at least they looked that way to my town-grown self – and wandered round stalls selling everything a Tyke would need, from sheep dip to improbable-looking vegetable chopping implements. The highlight of the day then was the discovery of black cherry yogurt; the result of a free pot, handed out by someone on one of the dairy stalls – still my favourite, and the taste even now can transport me back to that warm, sunny afternoon where the air carried the unmistakable tang of the farmyard.
And we’re off again tomorrow to look askance at the clothing styles of the landed and not-so landed, the agricultural and the businesses and banks that service them.
Sure there’ll be improbable kitchen implements on show, but will there be free yogurt?


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