Article by Brentwood Gazette: Historic steam engines, monster trucks and painted sheep competing in the “lamb national” enthralled visitors to the South East’s largest country show.
This weekend (September 13 and 14) is the 28th Barleylands Essex Country Show at the farm park and craft village held in Billericay.
The show’s committee are expecting up to 35,000 visitors to the 200 acre site and new chairman, Andrew Philpot, 43, remembers the shows humble beginnings well.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Andrew Philpot"]I remember being a schoolboy and helping out at the festival, I was born on this site, and the festival has grown a lot from a small gathering of local steam enthusiasts into what it is today,” said Mr Philpot, whose family have owned the land for the last 39 years. We really hope everyone has a great time here this weekend. We try to have a little bit of everything with something for the whole family – young or old.[/quote]
This year the show boasted an impressive line-up of stalls, food and entertainment including flying displays, vintage cars and motorbikes, rural crafts and children’s favourite Peppa Pig performing.
With a mix of local stallholders and other exhibitors coming from all over the South East organising the event is a year-long process with the committee beginning to find next-years stallholders and performers as soon the festival is over.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Andrew Philpot"]We try to choose the very best acts and stalls to fil the show to make these very good days down here[/quote]
Amongst the tents across the huge site included one hosted by multi-denomination church group, Churches Together who were offering free teas and face-painting - but with absolutely no preaching.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Street Pastor David Bowles"]We are expecting a very busy day here, I’ve came here many times for fun but this is my first time as a pastor. We are hoping for a lot of people to drop in and have some fun. This is our way of showing that gods love is free but we are not preaching to anyone.[/quote]
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mother-of-three, Sharon Davis"]“The site is huge and has a lot of entertainment for children of all ages – including myself. My youngest is looking forward to seeing Peppa Pig and my oldest is trying out his first real cider with his dad so today is a big occasion. In fact we could easily visit again tomorrow because i'm not sure we will experience everything.[/quote]
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by James Dawes"]As much as the kids will enjoy today I’m really looking forward to seeing the monster trucks. It’s something you only really see on TV or in the states so it will be interesting to see those in action.[/quote]
Each year the committee members selects a number of charities to receive a total donation of £6000, this year Rayleigh British legion, Downs Syndrome Extra 21, Brainwave and the Keyhole Cancer Appeal based at Southend airport will all benefit.
Article and image by Brentwood Gazette, Will Watkinson