MIRFIELD SHOW 2017
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11.45 on a warm and bright Sunday afternoon in August, and it’s nearly time for the formal opening of Mirfield Agricultural Show 2017. But before Councillor Paul Blakely, Mayor of Mirfield, takes centre stage the public address system announces the arrival of the cadets from 868 (Mirfield Squadron Air Cadets in the main arena for a display by their Corps of Drums and display team, greeted by applause from all around the audience.
With the first of their two displays completed, the cadets have time to watch the highlights of the other arena displays, including: Band of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Pedal Power vs. Parkour (the only show of its kind in the UK combining the incredible skill, balance and power of a trial rider with the finesse of a gymnast and athlete), the Katie Philpott Dancers, the Children’s Fancy Dress Competition, the Sarah Sutton Dancers, the Children’s Races and the popular Mirfield Show Tug-of-War.
There is also a wide variety of other attractions including horse and dog shows, vegetable and baking competitions, birds of prey, dry-stone walling and more than 60 trade stands and craft stalls around the showground.
Some members of the Squadron had been out bright and early to set up the Squadron stall at 07.30, subtly positioned close to the pedestrian entrance to the showground. Complete with static displays of many air cadet activities there was an additional attraction for younger people: face painting with a twist – in camouflage!
Towards the end of the arena events and the Mirfield Cadets re-enter with a repeat performance, prior to the tug-of-war finals and closing speech to bring the formalities to a close.
The Mirfield Agricultural Show was re-established in 1995, and the Mirfield Air Cadets have been a regular feature since then, and have enjoyed the honour of providing a performance to welcome the formal opening. Also, because many people coming to the show for just the afternoon missed them, giving a repeat performance as part of the wind-down of the arena shows. Although very much a local event, with primarily “home-grown” talent (in the case of the vegetable competitions quite literally), the show is a very high profile event in the West Yorkshire calendar and attracts in excess of 8,000 visitors each year.
After the show, the cadets’ squadron commander, Flight Lieutenant Peter Doubell, commented “Mirfield Show is one of the biggest public events in the local community, and it is always an honour for our cadets to be asked to perform, and for such a large audience. This year, as always they were a great credit to themselves and the Squadron, and of course being in the ring after the horse shows can never be easy underfoot. They can justifiably be proud of what they achieved today - this really help to keep the light blue uniform in the public eye.”