This year’s Slaley Show is set to sound a little different.
A new voice for Slaley Show as Lewis Short takes up the roving microphone….
Farmer, writer, producer and performer of this Spring’s first prize winning ‘Young Farmers Entertainment Competition’, the national finals show in Leamington Spa with a cast of Whitley Chapel young farmers, Lewis Short, has been announced as the new voice of Slaley Show Saturday August 12. He takes over from President of the show Robert Forster whose voice, over the last 15 years, has become synonymous with the unique character of the show field. It could be seen as a daunting task but it’s one that Lewis is looking forward to.
Lewis is a natural showman and performer. He hopes his ‘entertainer’ style will help keep the show moving along by reminding the crowd what’s happening where and when and pointing out different points of interest “I want to nudge people into areas they didn’t know they’d be interested in” he says, “I’ll be telling stories and maybe a joke or two; it will be worth listening to!” he promises.
Lewis is no stranger to the show; as a young member of the Whitley Chapel Young Farmers (who collectively are an integral part of the show’s success) he has helped with the set up the week before and, with other members, helped with running side shows, participated in main ring activities and the bar as well as organising many fund-raising events.
The style may be different but is a vital part of the smooth running of a field event. In previous years Robert Forster’s success came from his natural skills as an interviewer and experience as a roving reporter. A former journalist at the Hexham Courant eventually specialising in farming and going on to The Farmers Guardian stood him in good stead for on-the-spot questioning exhibitors, judges and organisers alike to keep up the momentum, add points of interest and help the timetable run to schedule.
Now President of the Slaley Show, his association with the show has been a long one. His father was headmaster of Slaley School from 1957-1966 and so as a boy and ‘village kid’ was very involved in all the exciting preparations and playing (!) in the big marquees the week before the show. To this day he appreciates every small detail that goes into the organisation and remains an active member of the committee. “The show is a sum of all its parts” he says “Its not just about the biggest attraction in the show ring but every single thing on the showground. It remains a traditional village show and a safe space for families”. He does have a favourite section “The Pony Fancy Dress!” he says, “Children are so easy to communicate with”.
Lewis will be joined on the showground by Slaley Show’s Horse and Pony section commentator of many years Dennis Lumley, farmer and former competitive horseman.