Superb Swaledale sheep on show
By Trevor Brookes - Editor
A GOOD summer and a kind autumn helped farmers ensure that the Swaledale sheep on display at Langdon Beck Show on Saturday were in stunning condition.
And in the produce, photography and bakery tent, there was a bounty of top entries. Nicola Foster, show secretary, said the event, which was cancelled last year, was more successful than the organisers imagined with a good crowd passing through the gate.
She said: “We were just so pleased to have a show after missing last year’s. The quality in the tent is very high.”
On the show field, the entries were just as strong with a number of farmers suggesting that Langdon Beck, which specialises in the Swaledale breed, was now the premier agricultural show for sheep in Teesdale. Bowes farmer Robert Hutchinson’s gimmer shearling was judged champion sheep with Michael Allinson reserve.
Neville Bainbridge, show chairman, said: “We’re so glad to be back again. The summer has been fantastic. Things are really green – it’s been too dry down the dale but we have had just enough rain.”
Seasoned farmers in the upper dale have said that the last time the grass was so plentiful in late September was in 1983. Cattle and sheep prices have also been good, Mr Bainbridge said.
But he added: “The price in sheep is where it should be. But the price in cattle feed went up £30 per ton in May and it’s going to go up by another £15. When we get a bad deal, will the feed price go down? No chance. But farming has always been a gamble. When we go to the mart, we get what we are given. When we go to buy, we are told what we have to pay.”