The Great Yorkshire Show is back, but not quite as we know it, as there will be no Fashion Pavilion this year, due to Covid restrictions. But that does not mean there will be no fashion, far from it, because there will be a chance for shoppers to see and buy some of the UK’s finest countrywear from the many retailers taking a stand this year.
The show will run over four days for the first time in its history, with everything planned under social distancing measures, including limiting attendance to 25,000 visitors each day.
Montana, which has a countrywear shop in Northallerton, has taken a stand at the show for 25 years and also used to exhibit horses and sheep from the 1960s onwards.
Dorothy Lee, who owns Montana with her husband, Don, said they had been very busy packing and preparing. “The standard of presentation is very high. We do meet a different customer and also people travel to see us,” she said, adding that there was always a huge buzz at the show.
“We are having a bargain bay on the stand and we do a wide range of gents’ caps, hats and jackets, ladies’ hats and jackets and the Dolcezza range.”
Natalie Stapleton of McNair Shirts said the company always attends the Great Yorkshire Show and is pleased it is going ahead this year.
“We are hoping that the visitors come as usual and have a fantastic time, despite everything. We are launching some new shirts and gilets for the show. There will be a mystery gift awaiting our customers if they purchase any merino shirt, jacket or gilet. We have been really fortunate in that we were able to continue working throughout the pandemic. We made PPE for our local hospitals for a few months and then resumed our shirt production in June last year. We really hope that there are no further lockdowns and that we can get to appreciate everything we used to pre Covid.
“The new Highland and Valley gilets are in the finest virgin merino wool. We have had many requests for a gilet over the last few years and we are so pleased that we have finally launched them in time for the Great Yorkshire Show. The Highland gilet has a more rugged country style. The Valley gilet offers a more sophisticated sleeker look. We will also be providing our measuring service - we offer made to measure shirts and jackets at the same price as off the peg. Our shirts, jackets and now gilets are all hand-made in Yorkshire from beautiful, natural materials.”
North Yorkshire fashion brand Galijah appeared on the Fashion Pavilion catwalk back in 2019 when Hannah Jackson, the Red Shepherdess, modelled one of its signature tweed capes.
Sadly, there is no catwalk show this year, but Galijah will be at GYS 2021 with its own stand, showcasing its collection of beautiful tweed clothing.
Owner Sarina Dean said: “The GYS has always been a firm favourite for Galijah. It is a show that allows all of Yorkshire’s finest to come together and showcase their goods and talents to a vast audience. The people that you meet, old and new, are always wonderful and we generally have a ball.”
Sarina added that shoppers will see new designs and colour combinations from Galijah. “We are very excited to debut our new fitted ladies’ blazers at the show, carefully designed and handcrafted to be extremely flattering. The one thing that this awful pandemic has created for us is an abundance of time to develop new and exciting designs.”
Frimble, which has a shop in Bedale as well as an online site selling its cool, contemporary, tailored designs, is also looking forward to the Great Yorkshire Show. Owner Sophie Osborne said: “The shows are a fantastic way to reach more customers so when we knew that the GYS was going ahead, we jumped at the opportunity to go.”
Sophie said she will be taking along Frimble’s new spring waistcoats, plus her Wentworth and Pirate jackets in a variety of tweed colours.
“It has been a tough year, just like it has been for everyone,” she said. “We adapted, changed and then adapted again as the rules and regulations altered, but we are here and very much looking forward to the rest of 2021.
“It really is the most fabulous feeling when ladies love a jacket, feel good in it and walk away with a smile on their face. That is what I am looking forward to most.”
Maude & Fox, which is based in Dorset but manufactures its distinctive town-meets-country tweed clothing in Yorkshire and Scotland, is taking a stand at the Great Yorkshire Show for the first time.
“Over the last few years, several of our customers had asked if we would consider going to the Great Yorkshire Show, and we are finally making it this year,” said owner Sue Longmore.
“We will be taking items to try so that they can be made to order. We have a new Houndstooth Gamekeeper tweed hoodie that has not been seen at an event yet. Also the Patriot tweed skirt has been popular this year and we have some new products to show off.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we panicked a bit as all our events were cancelled, so we had a tough time last year. However, our incredibly loyal customers have stuck by us and we have built up the digital side of our business. We feel proud to still be here as a small British brand.”
Clothing brand Joules, a familiar name on the High Street, has attended the Great Yorkshire Show for more than 30 years, and this year will be back taking a large stand, as usual. “It’s one of the most iconic agricultural events in the calendar and one of our favourite events of the year,” said a spokesperson for the brand.
Joules will offer a huge range of clothing, accessories and footwear for women, men and children, as well as some of its home and pet ranges, and, as an exclusive offer to GYS customers, it says that some items will be cheaper at the event than online or in store.
“It will be great to return to the event, following last year’s cancellation. While there will be some restrictions in place, we know the event will carry the same atmosphere as it always does and we can’t wait to see our customers and friends again,” a spokesperson said.
This year’s Great Yorkshire Show runs from Tuesday to Friday. Tickets are sold in advance only. greatyorkshireshow.co.uk