SOME welcome late-summer sunshine helped ensure Wolsingham Show enjoyed a record-breaking weekend with bumper attendances on both days.

More than 20,000 people passed through the gates on Saturday, making the day the busiest in the Show’s 238-year history.

Wolsingham Show is widely regarded as the oldest agricultural show in the country, and Saturday’s crowd marked another notable landmark in its history.

Sunday was another busy day, but it was the day one attendance that was really out of the ordinary, with Show organisers having to open three additional fields to ensure adequate space for car parking.

“I’ve never seen anything like that, and the older members of the committee were telling me they’d never seen anything like it either,” said Show secretary David Richardson. “It seemed like whenever you thought it was just starting to die down a bit, another load of people just kept streaming in.

“The weather obviously helps, and we’re grateful that the sun shone. But I also think the popularity of this year’s Show reflects the hard work that the committee has put in over the last few years to really build things up.

“We’re looking to add new things every year, and hopefully people think the Show keeps getting bigger and better. We were delighted with the number of entries in the horse, cattle and sheep classes, and we’ve put in a lot of work to try to increase the number and standard of the trade stands at the Show. I think that’s worked.

“We’re pleased we managed to cope with so many people, and hopefully we’ll continue to improve things over the next few years.”

There were special attractions on both days of the Show, with the Company of Horsemen and the Mount Grace Gundog Display Team providing two of the headline performances on Saturday.

There was also a parade of more than 50 vintage tractors dating back to a 1940 Bedford OWST, owned by John Gornall from Spennymoor, as well as the ever-popular harness racing that continues to form a key part of the Show schedule.

Sunday’s main attraction came courtesy of Jez Avery’s Stunt Show, and there was also a Show debut for camel racing before the weekend ended with a concert open to all Show members.

There was no horticultural section at this year’s Show with the Weardale Crysanthemum Society having decided not to stage the event, but Show organisers are confident classes will return next year.