Dalesman’s Diary: June 2024

A Dalesman’s Diary

June 2024

Charles Mills

Next month’s Great Yorkshire Show is set to be a bitter-sweet affair… yes, there will be all the usual attractions, but it will be the final one for the current director Charles Mills.

This will be his ninth show, and he admitted: “When I was a young boy in short corduroy trousers sitting in the grandstand, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get the honour of one day becoming the show director of the Great Yorkshire Show. It is a wonderful organisation and getting the opportunity to meet and work with so many dedicated people will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Charles was director during one of the most challenging shows, which was organised as the UK came through Covid in 2021.

“We were one of the only agricultural shows to go ahead that year, and it was such a pleasure to host King Charles III and Queen Camilla who supported us at that show and spent a whole day meeting exhibitors, stewards and the public,” said Charles.

“I have also thoroughly enjoyed hosting other members of the Royal family, including Princess Anne who visited twice during my tenure and is very highly respected among the farming community. The job of show director has been a wonderful experience and one that I will never forget.”

Since taking over the role in 2016, Charles has been part of the team behind changing the structure of the event, which moved from three days to four days since Covid in 2021. Tickets are now sold in advance only with visitor numbers capped at 140,000 equating to 35,000 people a day, to ensure a comfortable experience for visitors.

Charles looks forward to spending more time with wife Jill and family and supporting son James in running the family business of hosting weddings at their farm in Appleton Roebuck. 

Adam Henson

Allister Nixon, chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society which organises the show, said: “Charles has been a fantastic ambassador for the Great Yorkshire Show and we can’t thank him enough for his amazing contribution over the years and for his passion, commitment and leadership.”

Notwithstanding that, the event promises to be a triumph as it celebrates its 165th birthday.

TV presenters Helen Skelton, Adam Henson, Peter Wright from Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet and Rob and Dave Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm (the official host farm for Channel 5’s Springtime on the Farm series), will appear on the Vertu Motors GYS Stage, near Grey Gate.

The farming celebrities will take part in chat shows hosted by TV presenter Christine Talbot at 11am and 2pm, before taking part in a meet and greet afterwards with fans.

Helen Skelton

It will be the first time for Helen who appeared on Channel 5’s Dan & Helen’s Pennie Adventure alongside Dan Walker, where she explored the countryside and took on a series of challenging activities. She also hosted Channel 5’s On The Farm last year, bringing the best stories from the farm, and beyond.

Helen will appear on Tuesday, and said: “I have always been a fan of the Great Yorkshire Show and have loved visiting with friends and family over the years. I am very much looking forward to being there this year and sharing some stories with audiences across the day.”

Adam who will appear on Wednesday said: “It’s great to be back at the Great Yorkshire Show, one of my favourite events. I look forward to being on the GYS Stage as well as meeting exhibitors across livestock sections, where there are some of the best animals in the UK competing. I can’t wait to be back.”

Peter Wright

Peter will appear on the chat shows on Thursday and in the fashion shows on the Friday. He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be back at the Great Yorkshire Show again this year. I’m looking forward to being on the GYS Stage with Christine to talk all things Yorkshire Vet on the Thursday, then later in the Garden Show with Martin Fish and then on Farm to Fashion Show catwalk on the Friday. This really is the highlight of my year – unmissable!”

Rob Nicholson, who will be on the stage with brother Dave on the Friday, said: “We are really looking forward to being guest speakers at the Great Yorkshire Show. It is an event we whole-heartedly look forward to each year, not just as an opportunity to showcase our animals – of which were are rightly proud.

For more information, see the Great Yorkshire Show website here

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