In recent years, the role of the Glendale Agricultural
Society's secretary and treasurer has changed radically. Gone are
the days of merely typing letters and counting the money.
The society has clear objectives, and has passed its new secretary
and treasurer Gill Jones three areas to concentrate on: - promoting
and developing The Glendale Show itself, extending the range and
impact of the society's Children's Countryside Days, and
increasing membership of the society.
Gill's mantle is inherited from past secretary, Sarah Nelson,
who departs for one year's maternity leave. She takes on
what has become a key role for both the society, and the region.
Gill, who lives in the Borders, is an enthusiast for the countryside,
breeding her own horses and involved with working trials with her
border collies. She is excited by her new and challenging
role at the helm of North Northumberland's largest rural
event - The Glendale Show, held each bank holiday Monday in August.
Gill is assisted by Sarah Dodds, from Yearle Farm, Wooler, and
they are both supported by enthusiastic chairman and Hexham Mart
auctioneer Scott Donaldson and his extremely supportive and hands-on
team of the directors.
With over 200 members, she confirms the intentions of the society
and its determination to ring the changes. “Our aim is to
raise our profile and to grow and strengthen our presence both
within and outwith the Glendale area. The show has gone from strength
to strength and attracted visitors from across the north east of
A large event with many challenges, the show is not just the good
day out enjoyed by the visitor. Gill's mission is to make
sure it informs the public about the way the countryside is changing
and is responding to environmental issues. It is there to encourage
greater participation in rural activity, and to provide a platform
for new rural business, artisans and crafts.
The society and its show also aim to promote the area it serves.
Glendale incorporates an area from Cornhill in the North to Glanton
in the South, from Kirknewton in the West to Chatton in the East,
with Wooler as its central point.
It has everything from some of the best arable farm land in the
Tweed Valley to some of the most remote country in England. The
area encompasses top quality beef, sheep and dairy units and major
vegetable producers. Glendale also plays host to some stunning
scenery and wildlife, with many rare birds and plants, salmon and
trout fishing and grouse moors.
As Gill says: “We live in a truly unique area, of stunning
beauty and diversity - real 'jewel in the crown' in
the North East which we can help others to learn from and enjoy!”
The first ever Children's educational day established by
Sarah Nelson, was held in 2004. Over 2000 children attended and
so successful was the day that next year it is to run as a two
day event on June 7 and 8.
The children's educational days are there to connect the
countryside with the curriculum, Schools from across the North
East, including Northumberland, North and South Tyneside will be
invited to the Glendale Show ground to view and interact. They
will learn about Glendale's countryside, agriculture, producers
and the environment.
During their day in the countryside the society wants to ensure
that the children learn how the countryside works.
Gill is convinced of its value: “This type of event has
to be education at its best. We want them to appreciate rural life
and be encouraged to return. This is not living history it is living
real rural life. Children meet the real shepherds, see the real
shearer, and feel the real wool. They find out how a horse is shod,
a cow is milked and where their ice cream comes from. The old adage
that milk comes from a bottle is still believed by many - after
the countryside day ignorance is replaced by knowledge, and a bit
The society wants to increase its membership - 220 at present - and
is keen to demonstrate that there is more to belonging than just
responsibility for the best show in town!
The secretary is also there to provide an enjoyable programme
of visits and activities, all the year round. Last year they held
a hugely successful open evening to see the Chillingham Wild Cattle.
This event is expected to be just the beginning, and Gill aims
to arrange similar visits next year with open evenings covering
a range of rural issues.
Gill said: “We are so lucky to have some of the most fantastic
scenery in Great Britain on our doorstep. At the end of the day
we have a unanimous aim and that is to educate people of all ages,
and backgrounds about the Countryside and to ensure that we think,
link, and communicate about a truly wonderful, but sometimes hard,
way of life!”
Details about the Glendale Agricultural Society can be found on the
Gillian can be contacted on 01668283868.
Defra Grant Helps Secure Future Of Century-Old Society