Teachers’ strike provides unexpected boost for Great Yorkshire Show
Updated 8:51am Friday 11th July 2014 in News
The Great Yorkshire Show has enjoyed an unexpected surge in family visitors during the teachers' strike.
It boosted the three-day attendance beyond the 130,000 mark as parents took advantage of school closures to attend the final day.
In the countdown to the 2015 show, bosses now intend to step up pressure on schools to give pupils more time off to join the crowds.
The Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate has traditionally hosted the event to please the many trade and business exhibitors who prefer a mid-week slot.
But organisers, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, are concerned young people may be missing out because of the new zero tolerance approach to term-time absence.
Society chief executive Nigel Pulling said: "It has been ideal show weather. Even the downpour on Tuesday afternoon soon dried out.
"It has been fantastic. We have had a least 5,000 children here on school visits. But the schools strike has been a happy coincidence and we have noticed more families on the third day than usual."
He is concerned that despite the heavy investment in children's facilities, some head teachers still view a day out at the show as something to be discouraged.
"Some head teachers accept it is educational but others are taking a very tough line and saying 'no'," he added.
The Society plans to work with schools over the coming year to underline the educational value of a visit.
He added that while the Tour de France may have led some regulars to stay away this year there could be long term benefits.
He had personally met a number of fresh visitors who were in York for the Grand Depart who might come again.
"It is good see new people and there is every chance they will return - and hopefully we will get those who stayed away this year back in 2015," he added.
At the show Richard Bramley, of Manor Farm, Kelfield near York, was named the overall winner of Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Tye Trophy award.
The competition rewards excellence in farming and conservation with commercial agriculture.
Charles Mills, a judge and trustee at the society, said: “Richard’s was a very well run farm and his attention to detail, combining conservation and a commercial arable business, was well done. His dedication to promoting the farming industry to different groups and particularly to students was impressive.”