Emley Show: Event for all generations returns to farm run by the same family since 1746

There are some things that Emley Show’s new show secretary Pam Dyson never thought she would end up saying before she took on her role in January this year, but the nearer show day has loomed the more she has found herself thinking them.

Pam has always attended what is her home show near Huddersfield where her parents lived and where she has lived for many years. Pam said her family has been involved for much of the show’s history which stretches back to 1893.

“For years Emley Show was held on my dad’s cousin’s farm down the hill from where it is today next to the Emley Moor mast at Factory Farm. But I’m not from a farming background.

“I never thought I’d say that I’d been laid awake all night thinking about cattle. They were words that I never anticipated coming out of my mouth, but we are all so concerned about getting the show back up and running this year and I love everything about Emley Show."

Pam Dyson-Gill and Richard Hampshire

Richard Hampshire is the showground manager at Factory Farm which has been tenanted from the Savile Estate by his family since 1746 and has hosted the show for the past 10 years through Lord Savile’s permission. Lord Savile is also the show’s patron.

Richard said he hasn’t always been the man in charge over the past decade.

“It was Andrew Hughes who was responsible for the showground at first but when he gave up I fell into the job.”

Richard said this year’s show that takes place next Saturday 6 August had proved challenging but that the show was coming together.

“Having had an enforced two year break due to Covid we lost a few people on the organising committee and that makes a difference. On the flipside we have gained people like Pam and other new section secretaries.

“We have William Gill who has taken over the cattle section with gusto and is hoping to push it on further. His family farm where the show used to be and he has the bit between his teeth. William went to the Great Yorkshire Show to canvas for even more entries for our 51 cattle classes.

“One person we haven’t lost is Sally Hampshire, not related, who keeps causing me all kinds of headaches by constantly increasing the numbers and classes. Sally has built it up to being a fantastic section including really good butcher’s lamb classes that will be judged this year by Jack Bostock from Ewe2Lamb who appeared on Dragon’s Den.

“We also have a big horse section and the goats keep going from strength to strength with Chris Hagain and his daughter Jessica. We even have a two-day competition in the goats classes where they are milked over two days to find the best milk producing goat."

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Richard said he has championed the livestock classes and young people’s involvement.

“I’m not saying I’m fighting any tide but there was a time when livestock numbers were dwindling and in more recent times we’ve been getting more and more livestock entries. I’ve always been passionate about keeping that connection with the agricultural community and the general public. It’s more vital now than ever.

“One of the main premises of the show is to encourage more people to be a part of the rural and farming world and to sponsor those who want to build a future in it. Emley Show Society offers funding for such as courses and college expenses that will bring people on.

“I’ve always seen the sponsorship grants to young people being a longer term thing for the show. We would hope people remember that the show gave them something and that hopefully they might eventually get involved in the show later in their lives either through sponsorship if they have perhaps started their own venture or joining the committee and even becoming a section secretary.

“I’d like to see more people coming forward. Jessica Hagain is one of our success stories. She benefited from grants from the show, she has now qualified as a vet and she’s very much involved in the show."

Pam said she is already seeing how the next generation can benefit.

“For the past two years most people have been at home and many have learned how to grow things in their garden. This year we have three experienced gardeners at the show to talk about how you can cultivate and grow even better. It is another area where we can entice people who get the real gardening bug to become involved with the show.”

Pam said she feels that the show’s future success also needs to embrace other areas. “One of the things that would be good would be to sponsor someone from a tech or social media background. We just need to look outside the box a bit.”