IN the Craven Herald of July 28 the leader writer made the bold statement that agricultural shows were not as popular as they once were, and that in the produce tents you would be lucky to see a few vegetables and a couple of jars of jam.

Now, firstly I should declare an interest, as I am chairman of Upper Wharfedale Agricultural Society who organise Kilnsey Show.

Secondly, I would have to strongly disagree with this opinion. In 2021 around 13,000 people attended Kilnsey Show, the most for many years and probably a record. The produce, handicrafts and horticulture tents were packed with entries. Taking jam as the example – 44 individual exhibits were on show, two of the classes having 10 exhibits in each. The most popular class in these sections had the grand total of 19 exhibits, even the 'gentleman’s cake' class had 14 exhibitors.

However, I would strongly agree with the sentiment that more volunteers are required for a whole range of community based events such as Skipton Gala, and Pride in the Park. The leader writer is correct in stating that if people could be bothered to get involved, they would find that in itself entertaining. We are lucky at Kilnsey that the whole local community throws itself behind the event, although if there are others out there that want to be involved, please step forward, we would be glad to welcome you.

The three local shows at Gargrave, Malham and Kilnsey are all coming up. Please support them if you can, you will be sure to enjoy them.

Lastly can I throw open a challenge to the leader writer, why not enter a jar of jam or a cake, I will gladly pay your entry fee, let’s see how you get on!

Chris Windle

Chairman Upper Wharfedale Agricultural Society

Note: The Herald has accepted the challenge and is considering Victoria Sponge recipes