Robots, rats, rare breeds and rowing boats were some of the attractions at this year's Tendring Show
PUBLISHED: 20:16 14 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:16 14 July 2018
From Titan the giant robot who does Sean Connery impressions, to Titan the 99 year-old tractor that's been lovingly restored, there was plenty to amuse both young and old at this year's Tendring Show.
Crowds of 20,000 people flocked to the event at Lawford House Park, near Manningtree to celebrate the best of British rural life. The glorious sunshine even had Essex police officers queuing up for ice cream.
But for Theresa the rat, one of hundreds of rodents at the show, the hot weather made her want to go for a long snooze.
The National Fancy Rat Society has been present more than 20 times in the Tendring Show’s 119-year history. This year, rat enthusiast India Finney, from Stevenage, was on duty trying to persuade visitors to their tent that rats don’t deserve their bad reputation. “I like to answer the door at Halloween while carrying my rats, which always gives the mums a fright!” she admitted.
Next door in the poultry tent, visitors got to see a number of rare chicken breeds now on the decline - it is estimated that five breeds a year are lost - and children got a chance to stroke the chicks.
Sheryl Parker from Colchester was attending the show for the first time with her six grandchildren. “I just love the fact that there’s so much to do here,” she said. “It’s a lovely family day out.”
The food hall was bigger than ever this year, with a new street food arena. One of the show’s stewards, Jemma Rix, along with her rowing partner Lauren Woodwiss, were showing visitors the boat they will be using to attempt a record-breaking row across the Atlantic for charity later this year.
One of the show’s judges, Gary Docking, drove down that morning from West Sussex, but as the M25 was shut, he arrived just in time to judge the best donkey competition in the family arena. “I’ve seen most of Essex so far today, except the showground!” he joked. “The Tendring Show is a much talked about show, and I’m so glad to be here today for the first time.” The donkey he picked to win was called Jimmy Choo, fending off competition from her siblings Alexander Mcqueen and Giorgio Armani.
There was plenty of opportunity for children to discover more about where the food on their plates comes from, with beekeeper Paul White showing youngsters his bees in action before they got a chance to sample some of his East Bergholt honey for themselves. Children could also learn how tractors use satellites to guide them, and how worms move the soil.
But the star of the show was Titan the 8 foot robot, who serenaded one blushing onlooker with his rendition of ‘Lady in red.’ Titan did get in a spot of bother for punching an inebriated man at Butlin Bognor back in 2010, but was on his best behaviour for the Tendring crowds.
‘It’s been a successful show, and there was a great atmosphere as you walked around the show ground,” said Tendring Show spokesman Tom Glover. “Some of the highlights included the variety of animals to see, the many stalls and trade stands, the popular food hall, and some brilliant displays from local schools in the Education Tent. Our ‘farming is magic’ theme brought to life how local farmers produce our food and care for the countryside.
“We pride ourselves in putting on a friendly show and our team of volunteer stewards have worked very hard in the heat to make sure everyone has had the best possible day.”