Friday, 06 August 2021

125 years and still going strong

WE have reached another milestone in the history of the Henley and District Agricultural Association as we celebrate

WE have reached another milestone in the history of the Henley and District Agricultural Association as we celebrate our 125th anniversary.

I am mindful to be grateful to my great grandfather, also called Richard, for his foresight in initiating this competitive event, not only to encourage the farming community to improve their stock and their crops and to practise good husbandry, but also to provide an opportunity for country people to meet together.

The formation of the association appears to have proved to be a good idea.

Over the last 125 years it has grown, changed and allowed the skills of the extended family to be visible in the produce tent, the craft tent, the food and wine tent, the shopping arcade and the avenues of trade stands.

Entries in the stock, horse and dog lines on display in each of the rings are splendidly represented and I thank all the participants.

But an occasion like this doesn’t happen by magic.

If it wasn’t for a loyal team of volunteers who form the various committees, we would not be gathering this weekend and I thank them for their hard work.

Above all, there is one person who holds the responsibility of pulling all this together and that is the secretary of the association who is always there in the background, always keeping us on our toes and always managing to turn a crisis into nothing more than a minor irritation.

A list of our secretaries for the last 125 years can be found in the secretary’s tent and I would like to thank each of them for the help and dedication they have given to this association. However, this year I would particularly like to acknowledge a deep debt of gratitude to Jo Taylor, our present secretary, who has made this year run exceedingly smoothly.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who attends this year’s show for their continued support for what we now call the Henley Show — without your presence it would be remarkably dull.

There is just one thing I ask of each visitor.

My theme for the year has been “good husbandry” but this need not be seen as a practice undertaken solely by the farming community but can be rehearsed by all of us who care about keeping our countryside clean and tidy. Responsibly recycling our rubbish and refraining from dropping litter all over our cities, towns and rural areas is an alternative way of practising good husbandry and is something in which we can all participate.

Please help me by doing all you can to make Great Britain a clean and pleasant land.

I hope you will enjoy the show and, if you do, tell your friends about it and think about becoming a member of the association.

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