Episode 1 Royal Welsh Show

Episode 1

Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Over 200,000 people and 8000 animals of all shapes and sizes will come


from the world over to this beautiful corner of rural mid Wales


and they're coming for this. This is the biggest and most prestigious


agricultural show in Europe. Welcome to the Royal Welsh Show 2017.


Hello, I'm Kate Humble and you join me on the first day of the 98 Royal


Welsh Show. Over the next four days thousands of people will flock here


to be part of the most important event in the agricultural calendar


of Europe. Some come here for the annual summer holiday, some come for


excitement and entertainment but at the heart of this is the fiercest of


competitions. As family members, friends and relatives will be


pitched against each other as well as competitors from all over the


world to be the best in show. And right in the thick of it joining me


is Gareth Wyn Jones. I'm leaving all this behind and heading to the show


for the sites, the sounds and smells. It is my summer holiday and


hopefully I will be catching up with old friends and making some new


friends. You can follow all the action or sending your own


experience of the show using the hashtag Royal Welsh show. Smile,


everyone! If you have ever wanted to know how to grow a champion or


flawless freesia, I know just the woman for you. She's the green


fingered goddess, Rachel De Thame. Behind the locked doors the judging


is currently under way for the flowers and vegetables. So a lot of


nervous people around who have poured their life and soul into


their produce. But it is not just vegetables and flower growers hoping


to win prizes here, for farmers and livestock breeders, having one of


the animals walk away with the prize is something to be proud of. But it


is not easy. To win the top prize involves not just winning once but


four times. Let me explain. These are Hereford cattle competing today


for the supreme individual beef championship. We have four classes,


balls of different ages, for heifers, and one for cow in calf or


calf in foot. The winner will one of these, a cause for celebration here.


Red card winners from the classes will go on to compete against each


other to be judged best overall Hereford mail and the same with the


females. Then the best male and female go head-to-head for best in


breed. And the best of breed Hereford will be pitched against all


the other best of breed pedigree animals to fight for supreme


champion. Before any competition can take place the showground needs to


be made ready full stop and that takes a huge amount of work and


massive transformation. It will not be long now before this


area is literally packed with thousands of people all enjoying one


of the biggest agricultural shows in Europe. The man in charge of it all


is the chief executive Steve Hewson. Is there anything that would make


you wake up in the morning and think my goodness, I'm not sure that the


show can go on. I think we're fairly confident it will go on, the weather


is probably the greatest challenge we have contingency plans for all


extremes. It is vital whatever the weather the main ring stays in


perfect condition. That job belongs to John Smith. We installed a huge


amount of land drainage and also we put a lot of sand into the soil and


so when it rains it goes straight through the soil into the pipe


drainage. But you still need to irrigate. Absolutely because there's


so much sand, it will drain quickly and out. So we need the irrigation


to supplement that. And to the exhibitors appreciate that this blog


is as magnificent as it does? Absolutely not just the look but the


fuel. -- the fuel. We are all being irrigated! And preparations are not


just happening at ground level. Andrew Mills ensures competitions


can go on above our heads as well. This is the 100 foot pole climbing


competition, the tallest in Europe. What is the criteria for the perfect


tree to climb up the Royal Welsh Show? It is to be Douglas fir like


those behind this. There is 15 foot in the ground is probably 130 foot


tall and we do not have many of those about. How do you feel among


the morning? I just get apprehensive and nervous. But it has to be fine,


it has to be! I was here a couple of weeks ago, fantastic transformation.


You are the president this year. Brian Jones. Here representing your


host county of Carmarthenshire. What is the role of the president? Each


county in turn acts as host county and that county during that year


appoints someone to represent them as President. You have thrown open


the show, we have been lucky to grab you because this is a busy couple of


days. It is very important as well, it is the window of Welsh


agriculture. And rural life. Not just to this country but Europe and


the whole world. It shows our culture, the background work going


on in Wales. It is a big day for cattle breeders


today but what makes a bull brilliant or heifer head of its


class? Gareth Wyn Jones gives us the lowdown. Welcome to the cattle sheds


and two sections are competing. The beef and the dairy. Both will be


judged on individual elements of their animals. The dairy on the


odours and the beef on the meet. This year the link and read are back


in the beef section, only 11 cattle here. Neil Hodgson is one exhibitor


from the University of Nottingham Trent. A very old breed, widely


keeping them? It is a commercial herd, it has to pay its way and at


the same time we're teaching students as well as doing research.


I had to pick a breed that was docile, not to put off the first


timers. And you excited? Yes, very excited. Been here a few times


before but we have never shown here ourselves. Fantastic cattle, we wish


you all the best of luck. Different to the link and read, it


is much tougher if you're showing limousine with 127 cattle competing


here. -- Lincoln Red Cattle the Hereford cattle are becoming popular


in the farming community and I'm here with Tom from south Wales. Good


morning. We have a special heifer behind us called Mandy. I got her


for a box beef scheme which will run and then I discovered she was


pedigree so I kept breeding. So she should have been burgers! You have


saved her. Saved her life. It takes a lot of effort to get these


creatures show ready. And these are the favourites of the show, the


Welsh Black cattle. We went to see how much work it is to get them


ready for the judges. Can I give you a hand? Come on, then.


If you want a chance to meet the love of your life here is a little


tip. Get yourself a handsome Welsh Black ball. It certainly worked for


Jessica and Hugh Williams. I don't know what it is but just being on


the end of a rope attached to one of these animals kind of makes you feel


magnificent. And in the hills above Harlech these native cattle have


gained an unlikely reputation as matchmakers. It is how my mum and


dad met, as a Welsh Black sale. And that is how myself and Jessica met


as well. Was that essential getting your parents had get -- had got


together over the Welsh Black, bet you went for a girl associated with


this cattle? It was not essential, but it helped! What makes them


special? They've got to be black, they're a traditional breed. And


quite deep chested. That is what you want, the depth in the animal, that


good topline. At the end of the day they're beef animals. But despite


their tough exterior, please cattle also enjoy a spot of pampering


before a show. So you're brushing the hair upwards. It just gives them


a bit more body and shine as well. They enjoy the pampering. And the


blower as well, you would think you would not -- they would not like the


noise but they love it. It is like me next and they push in. They


really enjoy it. If you do walk away with the top prize, is it one of the


top accolades you can get? Absolutely. A lot of people regard


it as one of the best shows in the world so to get any prize there, but


the top prize is absolutely fantastic achievement.


Who wouldn't fall in love over a Welsh Black? We will find out how


few and Jessica got on a bit later on but now I have come to see some


of the most dashing animals on display today. This is the coloured


pony ring and dashing herself is a wonderful Karen. What is it about


these horses that has been particularly special for you and


your family? They're just part of the family. And my son who is


autistic and has dyspraxia, and terrible agoraphobia, finds it hard


to go outside of the house until he met his pony Texas. He knows he's


going to see him and he can go outside the house without any help.


And I started to show him as well which is why I'm here today. And


this is the first time you and your son Jason has been to the Royal


Welsh Show? It is. This is a huge show. And you said Jason has really


struggled to get outside at all. So for him to be here today, what does


that mean for you and him? I'm absolutely, just lost for words. To


see him in the ring just makes me very emotional. He is overcoming his


fears and becoming a man which is just amazing for me. It is the most


wonderful story. And where the most inspirational woman. I have to say


it is the only thing that outdoors these ponies, you are fantastic.


Good luck. But let's go to another colourful corner of the show to join


Rachel De Thame for the Royal Welsh Show arrives about a month before


many of these vegetables which the absolute peak. But that does not


stop hundreds of exhibitors and competitors turning up with the very


cream of their crops. These vegetables are not just grown,


they are coaxed lovingly out of the ground. Nurtured and groomed to


utter perfection before any of us get to lay our eyes on them. To


exhibitors who certainly have grabbed my attention with their


spectacular giant vegetables are Philip and Brenda. That is what I


call a show stopper. You cannot miss this barrel. What is involved in


growing something like this? A lot of it is fun and enjoyment, I just


do it as a bit of a hobby. But it took me just six weeks to grow the


vegetable itself. Six weeks to grow it, and you can sit and almost see


them grow. It seems to me that thing that behind every great man is a


woman. Behind every great Maroh there is a woman! Does that mean you


have to be very patient and allow fillip to be out in the garden the


whole time? Very patient yes. It is a lovely hobby and we have had great


fun over the years. It is nice to come to a show like the Royal Welsh


Show for a day out. And the thrill of growing it. I've been so


impressed with the produce of the show, vegetable growing is


definitely alive and kicking in Wales and I cannot wait to see the


flowers. Doctor who lives in Wales, sort of


cover the series is filmed here and the doctor has kindly lent me the


Tardis to do a bit of time travelling myself.


Following the industrial revolution in the late 18th and early 19th


century there was a big increase in demand for food in Britain. To meet


the demand landowners, farmers and politicians saw the need to educate


and share farming information and practices. And what better way to do


so than through farming itself, and the first agricultural societies in


Britain were formed. The English Royal agricultural Society was


formed in 1838 but it will be more than half a century later into Welsh


agricultural Society was formed in 1904 and held its first show in


Aberystwyth. The town would be home to the first six shows until the


decision was made to take the show on the road. From 19 said it would


flip-flop between South and North Wales before the First World War put


a stop to that. It would be 1922 before the show was resurrected. The


Society celebrated its golden jubilee at the 1954 show. It was a


time to reflect and also look forward. Questions were raised about


the sustainability of moving the show from town to town. Would a


permanent home be better. In 1963 the society have a splash out on a


permanent fight at Llanelwedd in mid Wales. And as they say, the rest is


history. -- permanent site. And here we are. Back to 2017, and a


little look ahead to the future. Still to come, Gareth takes to the


water and Rachel is having a blooming marvellous time in the


flower tent. If you thought that all pigs look


like the little pink pig in babe, this might come as a surprise,


because there are hundreds of breeds of pigs, some are pink, some are


black, some have floppy ears, some of straight is, some have straight


tales, some have curly tails. In short, pigs come in all shapes and


sizes. This year, the show has an all-new Director of Pigs. This is


Phil Fowlie, the new Director of Pigs. What is your job to do? It is


to keep an eye on the pig section, and hopefully to see it working


well. We have some beautiful Welsh sows behind us. Obviously with


cattle and sheep they have halters on. Pigs have boards and sticks. Why


is that? If they get too close together, they will ultimately have


a fight. What you see today isn't something that happens overnight. It


takes a long time to prepare a pig for a show. What other judges


looking for? I would imagine that he wants a very sound commercial pig


that is going to reproduce, good quality meat, and it's important


that you have the right head on a Welsh pigs. The ears have got to be


of a moderate size. Some of the these examples, I'd like to take


anyone home. So if any pigs go missing at the end of the show...


You will know where they are! Thank you very much and good luck for the


rest of the show. Someone who is hoping for success again this year


is my old friend Liz Shankland. A few weeks ago, I went to see her


with her bevy of ginger beauties. They may looks laid-back, but pigs


are known for their personality, and Liz Shankland credits them for


changing her life. Before pigs were in your life, what were you doing?


You are not a farm girl, are you? Know, I'm a total fraud. I'm


completely a fraud as far as farming is concerned. I came from a little


terraced house in Merthyr Tydfil. The biggest thing I ever touched at


home was a cat. For 30 years I've been a journalist, and I've worked


in newsrooms all over the place, and looking after livestock was probably


the furthest thing from my thoughts. I just happened to see an advert for


a house which had some land. So I ended up with pigs. Before Liz knew


it, she was a prize winning breeder of rare Tamworth pigs. There is


really a need to keep this breed going. So part of what I'm doing is


from a conservation point of view, because I want to see our old,


traditional breeds surviving. Getting these mud monsters ready for


the show requires a lot of shampoo and elbow grease, and Liz has her


very own show rituals as well. I love them. I have a pair of lucky


knickers! I do know that! Not just one pair. I've got two pairs. I


should hope so. It is a four-day show. You never know when you are


going to get into the championship the next day, otherwise you have to


put them inside out! Do you feel particularly proud when you take


home a rose that? Of course you do. It may not be this year, but at the


end of the day, I'm doing this because I love pigs, I love my


breed, and I'm having fun. I can see.


We will find out if Liz's knickers prove to be lucky tomorrow. Now,


let's head back to the rather more fragrant fruit and vegetable hall


and Rachel de Thame. It has taken months of planning, but finally the


horticultural tent at the Royal Welsh Show is in full bloom. These


displays are preening colour, charisma and fragrance into what is


one of the largest movable marquees in Britain. Tell me a bit about the


theme for this year's show. That is the first thing you look at, in the


fashion, and then in the fashion to the artist, design and models. You


take that on board when you have the fascinator 's or the hats, and on


this occasion, it was a shop window. Jonathan, you are a Master florist


with masses of experience, so why are you still drawn towards showing


here? Apart from being Welsh, it is a very prestigious show. It comes


here every year. My classes which I run in South Wales come to a close,


so this is my holiday. Victoria Jane from Swansea started flower


arranging three years ago after leaving her job with the local


authority. I went to the college locally and retrained to become a


florist. And I opened a shop within four weeks of qualifying. You didn't


hang about! Tell me a bit about what you have created? Julien MacDonald


is contemporary and his work is phenomenal. Did you get an award


this year? Not this year. I have had a second and a third and two highly


commended. The first thing is, you want to compete and you are in it to


win it, and when the judge doesn't quite see what you are


interpreting... For many farmers, this show is their annual summer


holiday, and for the last 25 years, Gareth Wyn Jones has left his North


Wales farm in the care of his dad and travelled down here to fully


embrace the summer holiday spirit. There's so much to do here at the


Royal Welsh. Some people take to watersports like ducks to water. I'm


definitely not one of them. Canoes and me don't get on. Anything to do


with water, I'm not a fan. In fact, I'm a little bit scared. Are you


coming down, Gareth? Are you serious? Come on! So, Ian, kayaking


is becoming a big sport in the UK. It is the fastest-growing sport for


the last 12 consecutive years in the UK. It could have massive potential


for the rural economy and health benefits. There is a huge benefit to


people going out and enjoying the countryside, but they need to do it


with proper instruction, and they need to respect the environment they


are in the. You are here with your two children, who are really good at


this job. One of them has been doing this for nearly eight years.


Children can do anything. A paddle, a duck to water. We have got


something special planned for you. If you get on the pond and you are a


TV presenter, we have a rule. We are going to roll you. I'm absolutely


terrified, but I've been told I'm in very good hands. Put yourself


forward. One, two, three! That wasn't bad!


So, Gareth, have you got over your fear of water yet? No comment,


ladies! Rachel, first time at the show for you. Have you loved it? I


have loved every minute. I felt so at home in that agricultural tent,


and it is the atmosphere of it. Sadly, it is almost time for the end


of the show, but before we go, let's find out who our winners are today.


Really chuffed. Congratulations to all of them. We


are going to be back tomorrow. What are you up to Gareth? I'm going to


the sheep said to see some old friends. I am not back tomorrow, but


Cerys Matthews is, and she's going to be a bit of a daredevil! I am


going to be meeting some of the city slickers who are giving the farmers


a run for their money. We will see you tomorrow. Goodbye!


..we're on a mission to prove the UK is wilder than you think.


So join us for a week of adventure, UK-style.


..we're on a mission to prove the UK is wilder than you think.


Download Subtitles