Malton Show: The agricultural event that is the 'perfect apertif' ahead of the Great Yorkshire Show

You can take the show out of the town, but you can’t take the town out of the show, that’s the opinion of Malton Show chairman Charlie Breese as the show sees its return at the end of June, after a two-year enforced hiatus due to pandemic restrictions.

The show celebrates its 135th year at its home for the past decade and more at Scampston Park and Charlie, who was born and bred in the town, said he is delighted with the show’s venue and that they are able to hold the first show in three years.

“A lot of us in and around Malton always remember what things used to be like and there are still some who think Malton Show should never have left the town, but what was the showfield is now houses.

“We continue to be extremely fortunate, through the kindness of owner Chris Legard, to have the most phenomenal site that is one of the best show venues in the countryside with great access, fabulous parking facilities and a beautiful setting. It really is a joy to behold.”

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    Charlie said the move out of town to six miles away has had a positive effect in attracting more visitors and livestock entries as the showground acreage at Scampston Park’s parkland is on a greater scale too.

    “Our cattle numbers have gone up every year and I am confident we will once again see over 100 cattle on the showground in June as well as over 500 sheep.

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    “We have increased our passing trade as Scampston is on the A64 main road to the coast and the easy parking certainly helps, as well as the show having increased its livestock and agricultural content, plus we now provide something for absolutely everybody. It’s a fantastic day out.

    “As much as the show is about an agricultural celebration that we want to maintain way beyond its 135 years it has to be about attracting visitors because if they don’t come we don’t make the revenue to keep the show going.

    “We attract 10,000 if the weather is kind and significantly less of course if it goes against us. It means we are reliant on the non-agricultural community to support the show, which they do very well.

    “The only problem for those in the town who used to come by foot is that it is not in Malton and it would be lovely if we could get some of those back.

    “We do offer a free bus service from the town to the show, but I suppose for some it’s never actually going to be the same as it was.”

    The show organisers also shifted the date several times before establishing the last Sunday in June as their preferred show date. Charlie said the date, that has now become permanent, appears to have worked in the show’s favour.

    “We had kept on moving backwards and forwards in July, but we always seemed to clash with some other local show, which wasn’t ideal.

    “In the end we found that the end of June seemed to do least damage in terms of around this area.

    “It also means that we are now among the first shows on the summer show circuit which means we get those coming who are keen to get out and exhibit – and at less than a couple of weeks before the Great Yorkshire Show it is a perfect aperitif for those who want to give their hopefuls a run out.”

    Charlie said he is in awe of the time and effort, all voluntarily, by everybody to put on the show.

    “We have an incredibly loyal band of volunteers, which is what agricultural shows like Malton really need. Currently, we are boosted by a very strong committee that includes our show secretary Anne Welham and vice chairman Vic Bruce.

    “Like every other show we are always on the lookout for more volunteers. We do lean towards the old guard a bit, but we have been quite successful in attracting new generations in recent times.”

    Anne’s father was a farmer at Scagglethorpe and farms with her partner Keith Allen at Ryton. Anne said the past two years of having no show hasn’t adversely affected Malton Show’s coffers.

    “All of our suppliers were extremely generous. Where we had paid deposits companies rolled those deposits forward firstly from 2020 to 2021 and then to this year.

    “We don’t run the show to make money but if we end up making a significant profit then we make donations to the Malton schools and to the local Rillington YFC who make a great effort in helping the show.”

    Anne said this week has seen the schedule for entries in all classes go live on the show website.

    “It’s going to be busy for the next few weeks. It’s great to be back under way. We are hopeful that scurry racing makes its first appearance at Malton Show this year. I’m just awaiting confirmation.”

    Malton Show takes place Sunday, June 26.