VOLUNTEERS are being urgently sought to support the traditional summer shows held in Weardale in the coming months.

The dale’s three agricultural shows are popular fixtures on the social and farming calendar, but more volunteers are needed to keep the events running smoothly.

The committee behind the St John’s Chapel Annual Show said they are in urgent need of helpers to complete a variety of tasks, from making cakes to manning the gates.

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John Graham, of Weardale Agricultural Society, said: “This show is a gem of its kind for Weardale, one of the few really local agricultural shows still in existence, but it cannot function without support from local people.

“Much of its success is based on the tireless work of its volunteers who give up their time to ensure this great tradition keeps going.

“This year we really need some more volunteers to help carry on the success.

“One volunteer is better than 10 pressed men.”

All the food sold in the refreshments tent is made in the preceding days by people in their home kitchens.

Volunteers are also needed to man events during the day and run the gates and car parks.

Mr Graham said volunteers need only spare a couple of hours before spending the rest of the day enjoying the show.

For more information on volunteering at the show, contact Mr Graham and his wife Carol at Hill house East Country B&B in Westgate on 01388-517145.

The St John’s Chapel show, now in its 145th year, is the curtain raiser for show season in the dale.

It will be held on Saturday, August 30, at St John’s Chapel Recreation Ground.

The Wolsingham Agricultural Show, which is now in its 235th year making it the oldest show of its kind in the country, will be held the following weekend on Saturday and Sunday, September 6 and 7.

And Unthank Park in Stanhope will host the 173rd Stanhope Show Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14.

Fiona Graham, secretary of the Stanhope show, said: “Volunteers are always appreciated, the shows quite simply would not go ahead without them.”

For more information on volunteering at Stanhope Show, visit stanhopeshow.org, and for Wolsingham go to wolsinghamshow.co.uk.