6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

A look ahead to the 2018 Royal Lancashire Show

PUBLISHED: 15:44 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:55 19 June 2018

Royal Lancs Show

Royal Lancs Show

not Archant

Make a date for this year’s Royal Lancashire Show – all the signs are that it’s going to be one to remember. Roger Borrell reports.

Royal Lancs ShowRoyal Lancs Show

Colin Mustoe and his colleagues have a message for anyone who thinks the Royal Lancashire Show is a thing of the past.

‘We are all determined to prove it’s not just back up and running but is very much alive and kicking,’ he said. ‘We are all very excited – progress for this year has been fantastic.’

It’s a remarkable turnaround. In years past, a series of problems – mainly caused by bad weather – put a question mark over the show’s future.

However, Colin, a businessman who lives in the Ribble Valley, felt this important countryside event was too important to be allowed to die. He decided to get involved and ended up as the show chairman, allowing free use of his 150-acre site at Salesbury Hall near Ribchester.

Royal Lancs ShowRoyal Lancs Show

‘We took over in April last year with a mainly fresh team on the committee – people prepared to give up their time,’ he added. ‘Because of all the problems, the society owed quite a bit of money. But we had a very successful three day show last summer and we have managed to pay off our debts. We now even have a modest war chest.’

Committee members are very confident the 2018 show will be the biggest and best for years. Colin said last year had around 15,000 visitors and exhibitors.

That was a far cry from the society’s heyday in the 1920s when well over 120,000 attended. A thick, bound book, a show guide from the 1970s, sits on Colin’s desk as a reminder of just how popular the event used to be with page after page of exhibitors. But the relatively small beginning last year has provided a firm foundation for growth.

It is clear from talking to Colin that the Royal Lancs is returning to its original ethos of showcasing all that’s best in the county’s countryside – although what they’d have made of the Red Devils’ opening day skydiving display back is the 1920s is anyone’s guess!

Royal Lancs ShowRoyal Lancs Show

Timing is also important. ‘As soon as last year’s show finished, we started planning for this year and one of the first decisions was to move it to its traditional date over the weekend of July 20, 21 and 22,’ said Colin. ‘This fits more naturally with other shows in the region and it no longer clashes with the Clitheroe Food Festival.’

Before last year’s revival, one of the major criticisms was that there were very few traditional features such as livestock and show jumping.

‘I’m pleased to say the event now has the support of the British Show Jumping Association and that means we will have £20,000 of prize money,’ said Colin, whose wife and daughter are keen on the sport. ‘We will be able to attract a range of riders of all abilities from novices to the very best.

‘It was always meant to be an agricultural show but livestock dwindled and there were hardy any horses. We have changed all that and this year there will be a strong contingent.’

Major progress has been made attracting cattle and sheep exhibitors plus a poultry section. Lancashire Young Farmers have also thrown their weight behind the show.

There will also be new features. One is the Ladies’ Marquee, sponsored by north west jewellers, Boodles, and featuring fashion shows. Another will be a children’s’ village designed to entertain younger visitors.

There will also be a vibrant Food Hall, organised by Amanda Dowson and Katie Bancroft, with demonstrations free of charge by top chefs such as Tom Parker, Steven Smith, Victor Yu, the Cartford Inn, Leagram Organic and Batch Gin.

Another positive aspect is that there are no hidden costs – a family ticket, for instance, costs £27 admits two adults and two children and that’s it. If you want to go into the ladies’ marquee, the food hall or the children’s village there are no extra charges.

Country pursuits will be much in evidence with fishing demonstrations and gun dog scurries. There will also be a dog ring, an Army assault course, displays by the Vander Wheel of Death daredevils, trade stands and displays of classic cars.

Colin is founder of the Senator Group, the Accrington-based office furniture business which does business worldwide and employs around 1,400 people. Surprisingly, he’s not from Lancashire.

‘I’m from the south of England but we made our home here and this is one way of putting something back,’ he said. ‘It has given me a lot of pleasure, working with the committee involved in the show. You get a real kick out of helping to create something that’s successful.’

* The Royal Lancashire Show runs from July 20-22 at Salesbury Hall near Ribchester. Tickets can be bought on line at www.royallancashireshow.co.uk or via 01254 814712.

More from Out & About


Huge swathes of Lancashire countryside have been destroyed by fires which have wiped out whole ecosystems

Read more
Friday, July 20, 2018

Ramsbottom may have become a property hotspot and a foodie destination in recent years, but thing that remains a constant is the wonderful walking landscape right on its doorstep.

Read more
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Handmade and homegrown are the key to success at these Burscough businesses, writes Rebekka O’Grady

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

Water vole numbers have plummeted in the last 10 years caused mainly by a 30 per cent decline in their habitats. The Carbon Landscape’s Katie Chambers goes on a search for these rare mammals.

Read more
Friday, July 13, 2018

Author and photographer Richard Barrett, who wrote ‘Cycling in the Lake District’ for the Kendal-based guidebook publisher, Cicerone, chooses his top 5 rides.

Read more
Lake District Cycling

From growing in the garden to fun at a festival, there’s a real buzz in this coastal town

Read more

A new generation of businesses are making the Lancashire town a destination in its own right

Read more

Ambleside epitomises the cultural landscape that was key in the Lake District being awarded World Heritage status

Read more
Friday, July 6, 2018

A visit to Musbury Tor is summit not to be missed says John Lenehan

Read more
Friday, July 6, 2018

A young Australian who came to England to play professional cricket has settled in Nelson to make beautiful bats.

Read more
Friday, June 29, 2018

Kendal is often referred to as ‘The Gateway to the Lakes’. It’s the perfect base to explore the South Lakes and these walks that begin within a 10 mile radius of the market town give you a good selection of days out for a short break.

Read more
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ever wondered how Clitheroe Castle got that huge hole in its tower? John Lenehan might have the answer after this walk from Sabden.

Read more
Ribble Valley Walks

Overseas royalty and fashion designers have fallen in love with a not so humble Lancashire horse blanket made on the moors above Darwen.

Read more

While many people head north towards the Lake District for walking, the city of Lancaster has plenty on offer for ramblers.

Read more
Lancaster Canals
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Property Search