Three Counties Show
PUBLISHED: 17:11 23 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:55 20 February 2013
The 2010 season at the Three Counties Showground begins next month with the Malvern Spring Gardening Show and this year a Herefordshire man is President
Its Show time
The 2010 season at the Three Counties Showground begins next month with the Malvern Spring Gardening Show and this year a Herefordshire man is President. James Hervey Bathurst tells Debbie Graham how he will be promoting his home county at the spectacular programme of events
Surely for James Hervey-Bathurst being offered the presidency of the 2010 Three Counties shows was inevitable? For not only is he renowned for his work promoting Herefordshire (this years presiding county), but his family has enjoyed a long association with the show. His grandmother, Lady Somers, was President in 1956, his father, Major Benjamin Hervey-Bathurst, in 1995, and James remembers countless childhood visits with great fondness.
Therefore, when the opportunity came knocking, there was only one possible answer.
I was delighted to have the chance to be part of the process, and honoured, but also saw it as an opportunity to help, he says.
With his CV including being a Deputy Lieutenant of Herefordshire and a Vice President of the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust and, now one of Visit Herefordshires high profile ambassadors, there can be no-one better qualified.
However, with three successful shows to preside over, there is no denying he will be busy. For at a time when similar shows are floundering and dying all the Three Counties shows are not only surviving but flourishing, with the main summer show going back to having three full days of livestock competitions which has not been seen since the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak.
James credits this to a number of reasons, namely the site, management, and time slot, but
crucially sees its ability to adapt to changing times as the deciding factor.
It has moved on from being a purely agriculture show to one where a lot of rural-based exhibitors can do well, whether it is building products, retail outlets or clothing.
I think shows have changed, and Malvern has moved with the times and has been rewarded with good attendance as a result.
Although honouring rural traditions has been a focus for many of these types of shows he says: In order to preserve a way of life you have to change and develop. It is no good doing what you were doing 20 or 30 years ago, or even 10, as markets change.
In todays world he believes one of the shows purposes is to help people in the agricultural sector aim for high standards because there is a competition and they want a prize. Shows give a forum in which to show off, whether it is a prize bull, pig or potato.
He believes the shows offer valuable trading opportunities and as such are of great benefit to Herefordshire because they offer a great opportunity to bring your products and services to the attention of a wider group of people.
Visitors are not only important to show exhibitors but also to Herefordshire as a whole. And James can speak from experience. With his family seat, Eastnor Castle more and more relying on tourism to stay afloat he says: What goes on at Malvern and the success of the Three Counties shows is important to us because it brings people to our part of the country.
Therefore, entertaining families now firmly becomes one of its aims, a far cry from his grandmothers day when it was primarily focused on farming. Yet, despite this, there is still a need for a strong country ethos, something James hopes will remain, wherever the future takes the show.
People are increasingly cut off from the rural traditions and way of life. In the old days children used to get time off school to go potato picking and they were involved in the work of the countryside. If they come to the show, at least they have some exposure to country activities.
The first show of 2010 he presides over is the Malvern Spring Gardening show, which is celebrating its 25th birthday and runs in association with the Royal Horticultural Society.
This, he says, with very evident local pride, is the regional or non-London equivalent of Chelsea, and its got a big reputation and a very broad appeal.And can visitors expect to see him out and about? My interest obviously is getting to meet people who are at the show either as exhibitors or visitors and to make sure they are happy.
As a self-confessed lover of trains and heritage he admits to particularly looking forward to seeing the Trackbed garden produced by Teresa Rham of Groundesigns, Shropshire. But essentially he sees himself purely at the committees disposal. I want to make sure I do what they want me to do, he says and anticipates his role within the shows will be largely ceremonial, a figurehead who gives speeches, ensures the correct people get thanked and that peoples opinions are heard.
Yet you can be assured that if he feels he can help in other areas he will, for although he may have the shows tradition running in his bloodline, there can be no doubt he has the shows future very much in his heart.
The 2010 Presidents position is definitely in the hands of a person who fully understands the countryside needs of today.
Herefordshire Life will be updating readers on this years Malvern shows throughout the 2010 season.
This years shows
Malvern Spring Gardening Show
This show is 25 this year and to celebrate there is a birthday exhibition charting its journey from its humble beginnings. An anniversary garden is being designed by James Steed, Alex Bell and Claire Potter. Other attractions include 17 show gardens, nine school gardens, Arts and food market, eight circus-themed gardens by the Chris Beardshaw mentoring scholarship candidates and the 1.7 acre Royal Horticultural Society Floral Marquee housing flowers from the countrys top 100 nurseries. Dont forget either the ask the experts Q & A sessions which feature throughout the show.
Reader ticket offer
As media sponsor, Herefordshire Life has teamed up with the Malvern Showground to offer our readers the exclusive opportunity to purchase discounted tickets to the Malvern Spring
On Premier Day, a strictly limited number of people will be admitted to see the very best of the shows RHS Floral Marquee displays and Show Gardens at their freshest and finest. Tickets are available for 26.50 instead of 29.50 and will only be bookable in advance.
You can also save 1 off the normal advance price and 2 off the gate price for Friday, Saturday and Sunday available at the discounted rates of 16, 13.50 and 11 respectively.
Readers are also welcome to join us for a complimentary tea or coffee in the Archant Life Lounge.
This offer is only available on advanced bookings made before Friday, April 11, via the box office on 01684 584924. Please quote this reader offer and Herefordshire Life magazine.
Please note that a 1.50 booking fee still applies and that a maximum of four tickets can be bought per booking. Entry is free for under 16s.
Other dates for your diary
Three Counties Show: June 18-20
Malvern Autumn Show: September 25-26
For more information visit www.threecounties.co.uk