It was almost undiluted good news from the Royal Highland Show yesterday as the round-up of the four days of activity revealed a trouble-free show, excellent weather, increased visitor numbers and little in the way of traffic problems, writes Brian Henderson.
Stephen Hutt, chief executive of the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland, said last night that the show had enjoyed an “exceptional” four days with attendance reaching 178,800, up more than 8,000 on 2013.
This year’s show was moved forward a week to allow school visits to go ahead during term-time, and Hutt confirmed that the society is to fix the show’s position in the calendar as starting its run on the third Thursday in June – this year’s position – for the next ten years.
“This gives a degree of certainty to exhibitors and stand-holders alike and makes sure that schools will be able to visit,” he said.
He said more than 6,000 pupils from 250 different schools visited on the first two days, although many more would have visited with their families over the four days.
Chief steward Keith Brooke said that although many of the machinery and farm trade stands reported that trade had been “sticky” – in light of falling beef and cereal prices, together with the cuts in support likely after the introduction of the new CAP reforms next year – the situation was not as bad as had first been feared.
The only flaw in the otherwise good news was the cast iron water main supplying the showground struggling to cope with demand. Some of the toilet blocks had to be closed, although there was always enough to ensure plenty of drinking water for livestock.