Huge sense of 'sadness' at cancellation of Great Yorkshire Show, says director

There is a great sense of sadness, the director of the Great Yorkshire Show has said, at the cancellation of the biggest farming event in the nation’s community calendar.

Charles Mills has spoken of his sadness at the cancellation of the Great Yorkshire Show.

For the teams, who have been working year round to bring it to be, and for the hundreds of stewards who volunteer countless hours every year.

But in the crisis, Charles Mills said, there are none more resilient and more determined than farmers to pull the nation through.

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“It wasn’t a difficult decision to make - we had no choice,” said Mr Mills. “It’s just the sadness of it.

“For many, they might have one chance in their lifetimes to show an animal they think might win, but it’s all gone.

“Hopefully that will all return next year. With a bit of luck, it will be better, and more exciting, for people to come to. But one of the best things about farmers is they are incredibly resilient. They will help pull this country through this crisis. And it is a huge crisis.”

Months of work had already gone into preparations for this summer’s Great Yorkshire Show, before it was cancelled this week due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Every year in July, about 300 stewards volunteer, in anticipation of 135,000 visitors who attend over the three-day show.

After the event was called off because of bad weather in 2012, Mr Mills said he had “hoped and prayed” that nothing like that would ever happen again.

“It was an awful time, but this is difficult,” he said. “It’s sad, for different reasons. It’s affecting everybody that lives and works in our beautiful county, and our beautiful country.”

Mr Mills, a farmer near York, has been fertilising his land this week and paused his tractor only to take the call from The Yorkshire Post.

“We’ve had one of the worst winters, after one of the worst autumns,” he said. “We need to be busy now. Fortunately the weather has improved.

“I farm today, but with a very heavy heart. I feel for everybody. We mustn’t forget each other.”