A RALLYING call has been issued to try and ensure that a popular country show can continue to draw the crowds as spiralling costs puts its future in jeopardy.

Organisers are warning that next weekend’s Cleveland Show could be the last as rising costs and dwindling sponsorship have left the agricultural show facing the end.

Each year, the show features a range of agricultural activities and animal show classes as well as a fun fair, motorbike stunt show and children’s fun show adding to the family fun.

Show director Barrie Robinson, who has been involved with the show since helping his grandad when he was just eight years old, wants to ensure the show goes out on a high if this is to be the last one.

“If it goes, the sense of failure I would feel would be immense,” said Mr Robinson, whose late grandfather served as the event’s trade stand manager for many years. “It would be a tragedy. The show is a crown jewel in Teesside’s summer calendar. It’s one of the country’s biggest, best-known agricultural shows and it brings loads of people into the most beautiful park.

“So it’s something I really desperately don’t want to let go of because I think I’ll be letting down my grandfather if the show falls on my watch.”

The Northern Echo:

Dancing sheep performing at the show

First held as the Stockton Show on the Recreation Ground on Durham Road in 1944, the show had temporary stops at Ropner Park and Wynyard Hall before moving to Stewart Park in 1963 where it has remained.

The show’s general secretary, Val Thomson, whose farmer father Keith Beaumont was one of show’s original founders, said she’s also determined to save the show in memory of her parents.

She said: “I think and certainly hope people will be horrified to hear this could be the end of the Cleveland Show, so we need a great turnout – and hopefully a much-needed injection of cash via sponsorship.”

The Northern Echo:

A youngster checking out the livestock at a previous show

Mr Robinson believes the show has suffered from an inaccurate belief that it’s a Middlesbrough Council event. He said: “We don’t receive any funding at all from the council, though we appreciate the free use of Stewart Park.

“The show is successful because of a small group of really committed people who each have an emotional attachment to the event as the result of a lifetime’s worth of involvement."

The Show takes place at Stewart Park, Middlesbrough, on Saturday July 27, with entry priced £8 adults, £6 OAP, £4 children with under-3’s free.