Bombshell axe for Moorgreen Show

NHUD11-2264-9'Moorgreen Show.'Melvin Osbourne steers Alison through the general ploughing contest.
NHUD11-2264-9'Moorgreen Show.'Melvin Osbourne steers Alison through the general ploughing contest.

One of the area’s most prestigious attractions, the historic annual Moorgreen Show, has been cancelled.

The event usually attracts thousands of visitors to the Watnall Showground and was preparing for its 165th renewal this year.

But the bombshell news has been broken that it will not go ahead, with organisers explaining that revenue and visitor numbers at the two-day show had plummeted in recent years.

Robert Steeples, chairman of the board of directors, blamed finances and bad weather as factors in the decision.

It is thought to be the first time the show has not gone ahead since 1849.

Among the usual attractions are horticultural shows, a funfair, dancing JCB diggers, showjumping and other equestrian events.

A petting zoo, classic cars, dog agility displays and even pig racing have also been staples of the event.

In its heyday in the 1960s, the show attracted 40,000 people but this has halved in recent years.

Its traditional August Bank Holiday dates will now be empty, raising questions about whether it will ever go ahead again.

Mr Steeples said: “After a period of falling revenues the directors have taken the decision that instead of putting ourselves in financial distress, we will stop the show so that we don’t incur debts.

“The show has sustained losses over the last seven years. People don’t attend shows like they used to. People don’t have the money to go out as much. Things have changed.”

He also said they had struggled to get interest from volunteers for the show.

“We have to accept there are generations that haven’t been brought up in the countryside,” he added.

“They don’t worry about the issues that affect the countryside any more.”

The announcement about the cancellation appeared on the show’s Facebook page.

The post from secretary Allison Pilling said: “It is with deep regret and sadness that the directors, show council, president and life president need to inform you that the 165th Moorgreen Show has been cancelled. I will be writing to exhibitors and refunding trade stand fees over the coming months so please bear with me.”

The move has sparked shock in many posts on social media sites.

It is possible that a ploughing match could still be held.