A little introduction…
This year the annual Southwell Ploughing Match was held on the Sherbrooke Family Estate in Oxton Village, which is situated near Southwell. The Sherbrooke family acquired the land in the mid – 1500’s; since then they have lived and farmed around the village for generations and continue to do so.
Since 1929, Saturday’s event was the 160th for the Ploughing Match and for the Sherbrooke Family Estate; it was the 11th to be held on their land.
Upon arrival we were very pleased to be welcomed in by Blidworth Farmer and long standing family friend Richard Thomas and his partner Sally who I have to say, were doing a fantastic job of monitoring the traffic.
I had slight concerns that not many people would attend the show this year due to last year’s issue of gaining entry, but I can honestly say that we got straight in without any waiting around and from what I heard from Richard later in the day; so did everyone else which is fantastic news for all of those involved in the organisation of the show and for all of those who attended.
Let the show begin…
Breakfast time. Not only does the good old bacon cob give us a solid start to the day, it also allows us to take a look at all of the wonderful food stands.
The first people that we came across in the “Farmers Market” were the fantastic award winners: “All Mine Cakes” who were there with their popular VW Van: “Little Pudding”. Their selection of expertly made cakes were, as always, looking extremely delicious.
As we were making our way around the many food stands, I spotted a cake stall which was bursting with an incredible selection of pastries, savouries, artisan breads, doughnuts, plaits and other beautifully presented bakes.
I stopped to talk to the couple in order to find out more about the story behind these unique family recipes.
“Elizabeth’s Patisserie” was founded in 1860 by a man named Jan Rozadowski; since then the business has flourished. In fact, demand for their delicious treats is so high that the hardworking couple who run Elizabeth’s spend most of their time in their very own bakery which is situated in Nottingham.
There, using traditional methods, Edward Rozadowski bakes numerous amazing goods by hand. Seven days a week Edward creates all of the fabulous cakes, pastries and artisan breads which they then sell on at many different locations around the UK.
Some of the places you will find them are:
- Farmers markets which include: Wollaton, West Bridgeford, Ashby de la Zouch and the Victorian Market at Melton (they stand on the 1st Sunday of the month)
- Universtiy of Birmingham
- Sutton Bonnington Uni
- Loughborough Uni
- Belper Food and Drink fest
- They can also be found at many other annual food and drink events
Other businesses that were in the Farmers Market…
- Brocklebys Pies
- Gonalston Farm Shop
- Dinky Doughnuts
- Newfield Dairy Ice Cream Parlour
- Buttercup Fudge
The Busy Kitchen Co…
Next on our list was the Craft Tent which was full of great stalls, but among them all there was one particular stall that caught my eye. It was their black board that intrigued me most of all. It read: “Dragons Den Winners 2015”.
It turns out that the Donna Cotton and Amanda Sherwin, the dedicated pair behind this fab home based bakery only went and won the: “Nottinghamshire Dragons Den Award 2015”.
“The Busy kitchen Company” are a small business who are passionate about homemade food. I love the fact that the two ladies were inspired by the realisation that not everyone has the time or maybe even desire to stand in the kitchen and bake from scratch. I am one of those people!
On the Busy Kitchen Company website you will find a superb array of tasty treats that are ready and waiting to be whipped up which enables you to bake exactly what you desire in no time at all. All you have to do is mix, bake and enjoy.
All of the “baking jars” which include the following mixes: cookie, toffee blondie cake, minty choc bubble cake, oat and cranberry cookie, rocky road, Christmas cake and ginger bread biscuit; are all beautifully presented in Kilner style Jars. In my opinion, all of these mixes make great Christmas and birthday gifts, as well as a gift to yourself when you feel like indulging in some super yummy bakes.
If you have food intolerances, you too can enjoy these taste sensations for they also offer a great selection of gluten free cake jars which include: carrot cake, brownies, mug mixes and cookies.
As well as baking jars you can also purchase “baking mixes” such as the: giant cookie kit, apricot flapjack mix, Christmas biscuit bauble, fruit biscuit mix and much more.
If you are a fan of preserves, you will love The Busy Kitchen Company’s range of home grown and homemade jams, chutneys, vinegars and spices. The majority of the vegetables used for the making of these tasty preserves are home grown in Amanda’s garden.
It’s no wonder this busy baking duo got the Dragon’s Den Award is it? I simply cannot wait to get stuck in to my Carrot Cake and I look forward to seeing the ladies again soon so that I can get my next cake fit!
They will be going to many more events in Nottinghamshire over the coming months. Go and like their Facebook page for the latest updates.
Something for everyone…
What I love most about The Ploughing Match is that there really is something for everyone.
It is such a family orientated show as well as being a place for farmers, business owners, animal lovers, horse riders and also for people who are just looking for a nice day out full of exciting things to see and do.
As much as I would have loved to see everything that was happening on the day, it is as you know, impossible to be at more than one place at a time so I did my best to get a feel for everything.
Included in the agricultural classes were: ploughing, horse ploughing, cattle, sheep, agricultural produce, hedging and shires.
The show hosted the 2015 Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Area Finals to select qualifiers for the 2015 British National Ploughing Championships.
During a ploughing match part of a particular field is ploughed using either horse-drawn ploughs or tractor ploughs. I and many others who attended the event, enjoyed walking around the field where all of the ploughs could be seen working meticulously.
Devoted to Dexter Cattle…
As we made our way around the show ground I could hear a loud mooing coming from the cattle stalls and because I am such an animal lover, I just had to go and take a look and see what all the fuss was about.
I couldn’t believe that the animal behind all of this noise was in fact an absolutely gorgeous little calf named “Pebble”. I stood there for a while stroking and talking to her for I was worried that she was upset for some reason.
A little while later as I was telling my husband that I wanted to take a Dexter calf home, I was approached by Mark Bowles – Trustee of “The Dexter Cattle Society” and was subsequently reassured that she was simply calling for her friend who was at the time, in the ring with her handler.
I was really taken with this lovely breed of cattle (I used to have some when I was a child), so I was very pleased that I got the opportunity to speak with the personable Mark Bowles about his 58 acre farm which is situated in Barrow Upon Soar in Loughborough, Leistershire where he keeps a total of 50 Dexter Cattle.
Mark asked if I would stay behind and watch him with his calf Senna in the Championships and of course I said yes. I made my way round to the straw bales at the front of “Ring B”. I was absolutely amazed when about fifteen minutes later Mark walked away with a 1st place which he had won with his calf Senna and another 1st which he had been awarded for the mother and calf group. Huge congratulations to Mark and his cattle but we must not forget runner up, little Pebble.
Sitting on the straw bale at the side of me was a lovely couple named Rodger and Audrey key. Roger wanted to know who I was writing for which lead to us having a lovely conversation about his passion for Dexter cattle.
He informed me that he has just begun keeping Dexter cattle at his small farm in Mansfield after semi- retiring. He found, that like most people who retire, he soon became bored so he began working with his sons in their horticulture business.
Roger has always loved Dexter cattle so he also saw his retirement as a perfect opportunity to get some for himself and you know what they say: “a farmer never retires”! This is certainly true for Rodger, so I wish him all the luck in the world with his growing herd which he told me will expand to a total of eight or ten.
I was particularly impressed with the large array of glorious vegetables this year; especially the enormous pumpkin which took pride of place outside the produce tent. Having a look around gave me the opportunity to see just how much amazing fresh produce we have on our doorstep.
Many of the local farms took part in the various classes which were this year judged by D. Templeton, F. Lees Esq and A. Goodwin Esq. Some of the farms that entered their vegetables into the Sugar Beet, Potato, wheat, carrot, onion, parsnip and Leek classes, included:
- R.T Farms of Blidworth
- T. Hammond & Sons
- F A Reynolds
- Strawson Ltd
- F. R. W Taylor
- K. Maxey
- Clarke Farms Ltd
- J.B Ashworth
- J H Goodwin & Sons
- Hardstaff Linby
- Combs Farm Ltd
- Oxton Estate
- Hazledine Farms
Horse and Pony Classes…
In the main ring I saw a number of classes such as:
- Tough Farmer – this class was based around the popular ten to twelve mile obstacle race which was designed by the British Special Forces. At the Ploughing Match all of the Young Farmers Clubs in surrounding areas came together to compete against each other in a series of obstacle races.
- The Hounds – I saw the hounds at Chatsworth Country Show and I absolutely love it when the children get to go in with the hounds. I think they love it as much, if not more than the children do.
- Side Sadle – There were some very talented riders who took part in this class. All of them rode wonderfully and were are real credit to the art of Side Sadle which allows a rider to sit aside rather than astride an equestrian.
- The Concourse D’Elegance – This was a truly beautiful sight to watch. All of the participants had gone to great lengths in order to present themselves and their horses perfectly. Every single one of the costumes and horses were turned out to the highest standard.
- J. C. Balls Digger Dance – They put on an incredible show, we found it thoroughly entertaining and the amount of children who were simply in awe of the display was fantastic.
Dog Show (sponsored by Pets At Home)…
When I first arrived at the show at around 8.30am Bernice Young with her adorable, laid back Portuguese Water Dog Casper (who is in fact a rescue that she has owned for six weeks) and the other lovely ladies from the dog show tent were one of the first people that I spoke to.
They invited me along to watch some of the classes later in the day, so after lunch I made my way over.
I stayed for the first two classes which were:
- Adult Pedigree dog – this class consisted of 22 dogs which included breeds such as the: Springer Spaniel, Pug, Pomeranian and English Pointer. I had picked out the winner previous to it winning so I was rather chuffed. The winner of this class was a stunning Golden Retriever, 2nd was a German Pointer and coming in 3rd was a German Shepard.
- Adult Pedigree Bitch – the winners of this class were: Sophie the English Pointer, Ella the Springer Spaniel and Freki the Swedish Vallhund.
There were plenty more classes throughout the afternoon such as: best rescue and child handler; all of which were very well attended.
A fabulous day that was enjoyed by all…
Whilst walking around the show throughout the day and seeing the thousands of people who were chatting, drinking, eating, spectating and generally having a great time; I think it would be right of me to say that this really was a thoroughly enjoyable and successful day for all of those involved.
On behalf of everyone I would personally like to say a huge thank you to Show Secretary Angela Hardstaff along with the Assistant Show Secretary Mrs Andrea Warham and also to all of the organisers, farmers, judges and traders that played a part in making this amazing day come together so wonderfully.
All of you played a very important role in making this annual event a memorable and enjoyable day.
More photos of the day…