the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

Dorset County Show, 2013

on September 12, 2013

The County Show has been celebrating the countryside and all things Dorset since 1841. These days there’s a focus on family entertainment, showcasing agriculture and shopping but the old traditions of a county show remain, including the competitions. There are 1,000 competitions to enter and although we didn’t spend much time looking at the livestock, the homecraft and horticultural tents are endlessly fascinating.

With the rise in popularity of television shows such as The Great British Bake Off, the competition for the best of baking is considerable.  Criteria for entry is strict sometimes identifying the required size, shape and ingredients, others offering the chance to use your own recipe.  One category I continue to find perplexing is:

  • Six sweet scones (men only please)

I wonder what Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would make of that!

Unfortunately, for all the delights of Victoria Sandwiches, Swiss rolls and flapjacks, they were displayed inside plastic bags and not the best circumstances to photograph, so I can’t show you any of the entries.  However, I can share with you the following:

THREE CARROTS, stump rooted, tops trimmed to approx 76mm

THREE CARROTS, stump rooted, tops trimmed to approx 76mm

PAIR OF MARROWS (any size)

PAIR OF MARROWS (any size)


These had my husband anticipating an entry for 2014.

Some of the other categories, however, had me in stitches. For example, THE LONGEST RUNNER BEAN of reasonable quality. I’m not sure that would be worth eating. And then there were the monster entries, the largest pumpkin and the heaviest marrow:

heaviest marrowlargest pumpkin

After all the excitement there was one last treasure. An opportunity to stroke the loveliest of rabbits and meet the proud new owner.



During a long journey yesterday I listened to ‘When God was a Rabbit’ by Sarah Winman.  The family saga was brilliantly read by Emilia Fox but the story was predictable in places. Rabbits at the show and one in a novel – that must be enough rabbits for one week.

4 responses to “Dorset County Show, 2013

  1. susancarey says:

    I just love county shows! Always try to visit one if I’m in the UK for summer. Royal Welsh is my favourite and as a child the Three Counties show always meant a day off school. So quintessentially British, those kind of events just don’t exist in the Netherlands.

  2. Kevin says:

    There’s lots of giant veg shows throughout the UK. Some great hints and tips here

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