The Henley Show – The Country Show ‘On Our Doorstep’

The second Saturday in September is the traditional date for the popular Henley Show, organised by the Henley & District Agricultural Association. The show has been running since 1891 and is one of the largest events in the area.

It’s a heartwarming and fun family day out, with many families returning year after year to enjoy the spectacles of the event or to participate in the extensive range of competitions.

The show’s timetable was chock-a-block with events, displays and competitions running throughout the day including:

Animal Parades

Showjumping & Horse Showing

Falconry, Sheep & Duck Displays

Dog Competitions

Morris Dancers

Best of Cattle & Sheep, including a flock of Valais Blacknose (a rare breed)

Scurry Driving (new for this year)

Poultry Judging

Face Painting

Produce Competitions

Classic Cars and Vintage Tractors

Food and Farming Interactive Displays, including Milking the Cow

The Henley Show is so varied, every visitor will return with a completely different account as to what caught their interest. For my family, we decided to let the children explore their own interests independently. They went to the funfair, the ferret racing and the sheep show, while my husband and I looked around the food & drink, shopping, craft and poultry tents.

We met Cathy Cornish, garden designer from Wild to Wonderful, in the Craft Tent. Cathy has been exhibiting at the Henley Show since 2010. She told the Henley Herald why this event is an annual must: “It’s a fantastic show to be involved in. It’s friendly and well organised. There’s always a positive buzz, whatever the weather throws at us! It’s a great opportunity for us to chat with people about their gardens.” The same sentiments were echoed by the stallholder selling charming “Mugs, Jugs and Much More!”, and the gentlemen from the Malt Brewery in Great Missenden, where we sampled their popular and tasty Anniversary beer.

In the Poultry Tent, Lottie and Sophie Baker, two sisters from Henley-on-Thames, had entered three Pekin Bantams which had hatched earlier this year. Lottie and Sophie have been showing their pet chickens and eggs for the last four years at the show. This year, their chickens had been awarded First, Second and Third prizes. In addition, Lottie and Sophie told the Henley Herald they had entered the painted eggs competition, and had won First and Second in Class prizes.

Their mum, Gayle Baker, said “We all love the Henley Show and the community feel of it. There is so much to see and do, it makes a fabulous day out. From the Produce Tent with the giant vegetables to the ferret racing and the craft tents, there is something for everyone in the family. The girls enjoyed entering their chickens and eggs. It’s good fun. We are so lucky to have such a great country show on our doorstep!”

Andrew Ingram, Chairman of the Henley Show, said “We were very pleased with the Henley Show. We had a great turnout. We work very hard to link the public with what goes on in farming, particularly for youngsters. We maintain an agricultural focus through our interactive displays, such as in the Food & Farming tent where children can grind wheat, for example. We support education and local agriculture, and we strongly believe the Henley Show does that.”

The magic of this Henley event lies in its charming heritage and quality, and eye-catching and interesting displays. After 126 years, it is still relevant and appealing to all generations.

Photo credit: Gayle Baker kindly contributed four photographs

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