June 2019

Here you can read about some of the activities that I have been engaged with during the month. Please do contact me if you would like further information about any of these organisations or events

Sunday 30th Service at Peterborough Cathedral for The Feast of St Peter

This afternoon we attended a lovely service at Peterborough Cathedral to celebrate the Feast of St Peter, with commemoration of benefactors.   The Service was filled with beautiful choral pieces sung by the Cathedral Choir. This choir is made up of singers from age 10 upwards – they practise three times every week and sing in a service every Sunday , so choristers are certainly dedicated, hard-working singers ! Afterwards we enjoyed refreshments in the South Transept and met some of the cathedral Chapter and benefactors.  Peterborough cathedral is quite magnificent architecturally too and well -worth visiting – note the amazing painted ceiling and the unusual and rare baldacchino.

Sunday 30th Re-Dedication of St Peter’s Church  in Barrowden

This morning we attended a beautiful service of Re-Dedication of St Peter’s Church at Barrowden. After ten years of planning, great support from within the community and  unds from generous grants & foundations, the refurbishment of this church is complete.  The church now has a new digital organ, underfloor heating, a refurbished vestry , toilet facilities and removeable seats, replacing the old pews. Their objectives have been : “To make the church more sustainable, more user-friendly and to create a new community space whilst enhancing the beauty and sanctity of this ancient building”. Without doubt, they have achieved their objectives. The service today was lead by The Bishop of Peterborough , The Rt. Rev. Donald Allister, who in his sermon, reminded us that yesterday was actually St Peter’s day, so the date for today’s service in St Peter’s church was very apt. After the service we met members of the congregation who came from within the benefice. The photo shows The Very Rev Chris Armstrong (Priest-in -Charge), his wife, Gerry and the organist John Comber.

Saturday 29th Proms in the Park

On this wonderfully sunny Saturday evening, Rutland Concert Band entertained many of us at the Cutts Close Bandstand in Oakham.  The music was fabulously varied including a number of Prom favourites, which were enjoyed from deckchairs or rugs with plenty delicious -looking  picnics. Many thanks to The Oakham Festival for organising this great free event with a collection in aid of EMICS (East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme).

Friday 28th Primary Schools Science day at Uppingham School

Nearly 100 local  Primary school pupils were treated to a day of Science at Uppingham School. They experienced three different aspects of Science during the day. A favourite involved pupils ‘unravelling’ a barn owl pellet and piecing together the skeleton of the vole that the owl had regurgitated along with the fur that they cannot digest. Their jigsaw of bones was completed very well by many students. They also took part in chemistry experiments and astro-physics activities. A great day of varied experiences for these budding young scientists.

Friday 28th June. Leics & Rutland School Games Summer Championships

Great day spent at the Leicestershire and Rutland School Games Summer Championships, held at Uppingham School Sports Centre. After an Opening ceremony with a speech from Ben Higgins ( GO GOLD athlete from Rutland) and an entertaining Keepy Uppy football (or football freestyle) display, the games started. Close to 1,000 of our most talented young athletes from our Primary schools had qualified to be part of these championships. With massive enthusiasm they took part in a range of athletic events, netball, hockey, kwik cricket and swimming. Additionally there was a ‘Change 4 Life Festival’ teaching fitness and health issues and thoughtfully designed activities for those with special needs.This event was superbly well-organised with staff from LRS (Leicestershire and Rutland Sport) and qualified Youth Leaders, ensuring that everything ran smoothly. LRS is a partnership that promotes physical activity stating its ambitions as : Get Active, Stay Active, Active Places and Active Economy. Thanks very much to those who hosted our visit and provided a delicious lunch too. 

Thursday 27th. Sister Act at Catmose College

Tonight we watched a fabulous production of the musical Sister Act by students from Catmose College and Harington School. Over 50 students sang and danced on the stage, with many more involved in the Band, with lighting, costumes, make-up etc etc.. Great performances all round, with some wonderful solos from Florence Rudkin, Henrietta Gillie, Phoebie Key-Warburton, Harry Lee Payton and Ciaran Hatcher-Devlin. Congratulations to all staff involved in supporting these students to achieve such a high standard. 

Wednesday 26th. 1st Barleythorpe Brownies

Spent a fun evening with the 1st Barleythorpe Brownie pack at their weekly meeting in the Rutland Community Hub. The group of around 24 chatty 7 – 10 year olds were kept busy learning about ‘water’ – how to use it wisely and how to stay safe near it . Eventually they will earn their Water badge to go alongside other skills and adventure badges that they earn. Great to see these young girls working together and learning some helpful life skills. Congratulations to Nicol Resoli who set up this Brownie pack earlier in the year,  and who works really hard with her other volunteers to keep this group actively engaged.  Many thanks to all the volunteers.

Wednesday 26th CAMHS meeting at Rutland Memorial Hospital

Attended a useful CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) Information event at Rutland Memorial Hospital. CAMHS has a number of care pathways, resources and therapies to offer. CAMHS is a tertiary service so young people have normally been assessed by other professionals prior to referral.  If you wish further details of this service follow this link.

Tuesday 25th Presidential inauguration at the Leicestershire Law Society

Tonight we joined Ms Glynis Wright at the Leicestershire Law Society, to celebrate her Presidential inauguration. It was a real pleasure to meet Glynis and a number of Judges and Solicitors who work hard to deliver fair justice within our courts. I have been invited to join them, when they are sitting in their County or Family courts so that I can better understand the nature of their work – I  will certainly be taking up their kind offers. During the year, the President has chosen to support the charity ‘Alex’s wish’, which has been set up to eradicate Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an aggressive condition whereby every single body muscle is eventually destroyed. 

Tuesday 25th. Uppingham Community College

Today I visited UCC where I met the Headmaster, Ben Solly and a group of students from years 8 – 10. It was great to have time to talk with Ben about the school and to learn of his focus , and methods for achieving first-class ‘teaching and learning’ for all. He is also proud to be expanding his special education needs facility through a recently approved scheme with RCC. I spent 40 minutes talking with a group of students, discussing their volunteering activities and those activities and groups that are open to them for further volunteering both now and in the future. It was good to hear their thoughts and ideas. 

Monday 24th. Concert in Oakham Festival

In Oakham parish church this evening we were entertained by two fantastic performers. Firstly Katie Marshall, an award winning 18 year old soprano performed  classical , contemporary and musical theatre works. Then Jackie Morrison took the stage and entertained us with amusing recitals of Roald Dahl poems and some well-known pieces from musicals. Excellent entertainment from very talented artists. More varied events to come in the week from the festival.

Monday 24th. Flag raising for Armed Forces week at HMP Stocken

Very proud to be part of the flag raising ceremony at HMP Stocken this afternoon, to commemorate the start of Armed Forces week.  The ceremony took place in brilliant sunshine with the Lord – Lieutenant of Rutland, the Deputy Prison Governor, the Prison Chaplain and members of the prison staff amongst those of us in attendance. This gave us the opportunity to show our appreciation to the men and women who serve, or who have served, our country  in the Armed Forces. We also remember the invaluable support provided by their families and the support from businesses to our Reservists. 

Monday 24th Leicestershire Police Headquarters

This morning, together with the High Sheriff of Leicester, we visited the Leicestershire Police Headquarters at Enderby. This Police Force serves all of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. We enjoyed a most interesting and educational visit. We visited many of the sections including the Dog section, Firearms, the Digital Hub and the Control room . Each section is run by rigorously trained professionals, who undertake their work with enthusiasm and great diligence and care. The Force’s vision is simple: ‘Making our diverse communities safer’. The process is complex. Policing continually evolves with new and innovative methods being constantly created to make their work more effective and efficient. The Force faces many different challenges in their daily work and forward planning. It was a real pleasure to meet so many officers in their work place and to learn about the way in which they manage their activities – ever mindful of the well- being of those in our community. This is a Police Force to be really proud of. Many thanks to Chief Constable , Simon Cole and all those who we met during a very memorable visit. Do take time to look at their website that provides information about their activities and services. 

If you are aged 14 – 18 years you could become a police cadet and gain experiences and skills that will enhance your work in whatever sphere. If above this age,  you could become a Police Support Volunteer and join a large group of people who help to make such a positive contribution to our community. Details here.

Sunday 23rd Oakham Festival

The 26th Oakham Festival opened today alongside the Oakham Town Council Concert Band at Cutts Close Park. It was great to see many there enjoying the sunshine, the band, picnics and ice-creams. The festival provided other activities such as archery and fortune telling, along with a stall stocked full of delicious cakes made by the Rutland Girl Guides. The Festival continues through into next weekend with a wide range of activities including live bands, historical events, spooky ghost walks and classical music. There is something for all ages and tastes – many thanks to the hard work of the organisers Debbie Oakes and Carolyn Acton-Reed.  See the website here

Friday 21st June. Blow the Trumpet concert in Uppingham

Tonight we were treated to a wonderful evening of music for Trumpet and Organ in St Peter & St Paul church, Uppingham. This concert marked the first event of the inaugural Festival weekend taking place 21 – 23 June. Establishing Arts for the Heart of England stems from a passionate belief by David Hill MBE, that the arts nourish the soul, are good for our well-being and help us grow as people. Tonight’s concert certainly showed how true this belief is! Crispian Steel-Perkins, who has played the trumpet since the age of 10, played some magnificent pieces by a wide range of composers. As a restorer of antique trumpets, Crispian was able to show and to demonstrate the sounds from a range of trumpets that have been played over the years. Both Crispian and David are professional musicians, renowned world-wide for their music – we are indeed enormously fortunate to be able to enjoy their talent in Rutland. I wish David Hill every success as he establishes Arts for the Heart of England and really look forward to hearing many more concerts. Details can be seen on their website here.

Friday 21st June. Harington School

Enjoyed a visit to Harington School in Oakham today . This relatively new school takes approximately 300 students in Years 12 and 13. It was good to run an assembly with the year 12 pupils and to talk with some about their thoughts and involvement with volunteering activities. Also great to learn about the variety of activities and responsibilities that they take on in order to prepare themselves for future studies and work.  Many thanks to Ms Steph Preen and Mr John Harrison (Principal) for hosting my visit to this very vibrant school. 

Thursday 20th. Uppingham Guides

Tonight I visited the Uppingham Guides, lead by Amanda Hana. This delightful group of Guides (aged 10 – 14) took part in all their activities with such enthusiasm and fun. They learn a range of skills within the Guides and it was a real treat to be able to chat with them and to hear about their camps and activities. The evening ended with some colourful badges being awarded for a variety of achievements in previous weeks. Guiding certainly provides these young girls with a wide range of really worthwhile activities and experiences. A big ‘thank you’ to their group leader and other ‘helpers’ who volunteer  and  run this Guide group.

Wednesday 19th. Rutland Water Nature Reserve

Great visit today to the Rutland Water Nature Reserve. We met with Dr Mat Cottam (Reserve Manager) who took us to several of the hides that you can walk to from the Lyndon visitor centre. From the hides you can admire the wildlife on the water; we were lucky enough to be able to watch (with the aid of some binoculars) two adult ospreys feeding their 4 young chicks. The story of the translocation of Ospreys to Rutland Water is quite fascinating, as is the story of their annual migration south to warmer climes. This is such a fabulous place to visit; it supports wildlife, conservation, education, volunteering and well-being! I thoroughly recommend a visit to the Lyndon visitor centre or even just a walk to view the Water – it is very therapeutic ! 

Monday 17th. Oakham Police station

Met this morning at Oakham police station, with Inspector Siobhan Gorman and the new Superintendent of neighbourhood policing Supt. Stephen Potter . It was great to learn more about the nature of policing in Rutland  – their methods, their challenges and their plans. We are very fortunate to have a police force here with such a ‘can do’ and positive attitude. Their care for the community is paramount – they listen and they always act for the best interests of the community. We really look forward to meeting more of this amazing team in the weeks ahead. 

Sunday 16th Uppingham Feast Day

Uppingham Feast Day was a real example of an event run by the community for the community. The event started at midday but was still ‘going strong’ at 6 pm when we called in. There was great live music playing and plenty local food stands still providing delicious sustenance as visitors enjoyed the atmosphere sitting and chatting in the busy market square. Earlier in the day there had been an array of childrens’ activities with local shops and trade stands open too. Congratulations to The Feast Day committee on creating a great community day. 

Saturday 15th. Rutland Open Studios

This afternoon we cycled around the South-eastern area of Rutland visiting a number of the Rutland Open Studios. There is some wonderful talent around our County with artisans ‘at work’ in some glorious settings – studios overlooking beautiful verdant countryside. Pictures here are from our visit to Wing where we really enjoyed the art work of Angela Harding (on the left) and Mary Rodgers (right) and the opportunity to chat with the artists.  During our travels we also visited studios in Morcott, Barrowden and Ketton – and all before a mega rain shower at 4.30 pm.. A great day out – to be recommended. Its a fabulous way to share the talent in Rutland – congratulations to Mike Moralee (Chair of Rutland Open Studios) and his team and the artists. Many studios remain open throughout the rest of June but check out dates/times here : www.rutlandopenstudios.co.uk

Friday 14th. Regimental Reception at Grimsthorpe Castle

Major General RW Wooddisse CBE MC of the Royal Anglian Regiment hosted a Regimental Reception in the wonderful grounds of Grimsthorpe Castle. The Royal Anglian Regiment is the East of England’s premier Infantry Regiment. They have two Regular battalions and a Reserve battalion based in the East of England and Cyprus. The Royal Anglian Regiment primarily recruits from ten counties across the East of England. It was a real pleasure to meet those serving with the Regiment. The evening concluded with a rousing Beating of the Retreat ceremony at sunset.

Friday 14th The Shires, Stretton

This morning we visited the Shires at Stretton, which is a home that offers care and learning experiences for pupils across the entire autism spectrum. Our visit was kindly hosted by Kirsty Truesdale (Manager) and George Alley, Headteacher. The Shires is very much characterised by a ‘can do’ attitude.  Dedicated staff create a home for the children that is not institutionalised, and that reflects a family atmosphere.  Staff are experienced in supporting children with autism and understand how and when the environment needs to be adapted in order to maximise the potential of each individual. Most of the children here are residential, with a few joining daily for education. The care and attention shown for the welfare and development of every child is most impressive.   

Thursday 13th. Police Cadets, Melton Mowbray

This evening we joined the Melton Mowbray Police cadets at one of their evening meetings. The session was ably run by William Ford PCSO, the group leader and a couple of volunteer staff. The cadets (aged 13 – 17 years) were smartly kitted-out in their police cadet uniforms and demonstrated their marching skills and team working skills during the evening. The Volunteer Police Cadet programme allows these youngsters to gain an insight into policing, whilst gaining new skills and knowledge for future work. The programme also ensures that they help their local community by offering exciting opportunities to volunteer at weekends and in the evenings, sometimes working alongside the regular police officers. All the cadets spoke very positively of their experiences and learning within the group. Likewise the volunteer staff enjoyed their involvement and must be congratulated on giving their time to the cadets and ensuring that the programme runs smoothly.

Wednesday 12th June Rotary Club of Rutland take children to Wicksteed Park from Oakham C of E Primary School and The Parks School

Today, a few children from Oakham C of E  Primary School and The Parks School are off to spend a fun day at Wicksteed Park. It was a pleasure to meet the excited children (many wearing cheerfully decorated wellies)  and staff, as they prepared to board their coach outside the school gates. The outing is made possible by Rotary Club of Rutland who arrange the transport and entrance fee and provide a BBQ lunch on-site, for disadvantaged children in local schools. The event is part of KidsOut (an independent charity) that supports Rotary clubs throughout the country.  Many thanks to those from Rutland Rotary who I met and who are supporting today’s event: Richard Bird (President of Rotary Rutland), Chris Bird and Clive Sherwood (President elect). Richard Simmons was apparently already at Wicksteed Park setting up the gazebos and BBQ. I wish all the children (and adults) a great day and fingers crossed for some dry weather. 

Having waved off the children, I was then taken on a most interesting tour of the schools by Stephen Cox, Headteacher. We visited many of the classes where pupils (aged 4 – 11) were engaged in their classwork: they were a delight to meet and happily told me about their learning which included maths work, reading analogue & digital time,  writing ‘both sides of the debate’ with regards to the use of on-line products.  The classrooms and corridors are light and show stimulating, fresh displays. It was a real pleasure to meet the Headteacher and a number of the staff. My impression, in this brief visit, was that the schools conduct purposeful activities, both in and out the classroom, within a calm and happy environment. I look forward to being able to return to see other events there.

Tuesday 11th June. Oakham Ambulance and Oakham Fire & Rescue services

Called in to Oakham Ambulance station this morning. Had a great chat with Nick Cave (Emergency Care Practitioner) and learnt about the activities and challenges of our local ambulance team. About 25 personnel based in Oakham give us 24/7 cover on 12 hour shifts. We are very fortunate to be cared for by such a professional team operating with two ambulances and one car.  Hope to join an ambulance team for a day very soon.

Visited our local Fire & Rescue station at Oakham today and met the on-duty team of five. Without booking an appointment, they very kindly showed me around the station and explained their rota system which gives us 24/7 cover. Fire officers work on 24 hour shifts, sleeping on site.  The fire engine and secondary fire rescue vehicle are fully equipped to enable them to deal with a wide range of incident types. Our fire officers need to continually practice their skills such as  fire fighting, rescues, use of metal cutting equipment, first aid  and  driving skills. It was good to chat with a few of the Firemen, before their alarm went off and they all left the premises very promptly with the blue light flashing. A great team of dedicated professionals. Thank you for being so helpful during my impromptu visit. 

Sunday 9th June. Rutland Scouts celebration afternoon

The Rutland District Scouts held their AGM and celebration afternoon at Oakham Castle today. It was a real pleasure to meet many of the volunteer staff who lead the groups at Cottesmore, North Luffenham, Oakham and Uppingham. They each showed great enthusiasm for their roles, which require time and commitment. However, they also talked about the rewards of helping the young scouts with their activities and seeing them develop confidence and new skills. The Scouts movement includes Beavers (aged 6 – 8, Cubs (aged 8 – 10), Scouts (aged 11 – 14) and Explorers (aged 14 – 18). It was great to meet many of these young scouts who all spoke very enthusiastically about their weekly activities as well as the many weekend camps and summer camps that they attend too. Many activities are based outdoors and help to develop their self-esteem, resilience and team working skills, as well as creating new friendships. Many of these scout groups have waiting lists – they need more volunteers to help run the sessions. If you feel that this is something that you might enjoy, then please contact the District Commissioner, Katie Smidt (dc@rutlandscouts.org.uk). You will receive training and lots of support – as well as meeting new people and gaining new experiences. Congratulations to Sean Hickling and Thomas Howe for receiving the highest scouting Gold awards, presented to them at the AGM. (Picture shows L to R : Katie Smidt (District Commissioner), Alex Walton (Deputy County Commissioner) and Leanne Wrentmore (Group Scout Leader , Oakham))

Saturday 8th June. Bodie Hodges Foundation

We had planned to join the fund raising cycle ride with the Bodie Hodges Foundation on Saturday morning, cycling 40 miles from Leicester to Tallington (near Market Deeping). However when we woke at 4.30 am to set off for Leicester, the weather forecast was even worse than the night before with constant rain and gale force winds. As a result, we decided to miss the bicycle ride and instead head straight (by car) to Bodies Boathouse at Tallington. Bodie Hodges Foundation provides free respite for families in the East Midlands bereaved of a child. They create a relaxing and safe environment in a beautiful Boathouse on the waters’ edge at Tallington Lakes. The founders are Donna and Nick Hodges who tragically lost their son Bodie. We met with Paul Taylor, the manager & fundraiser, who talked to us about this charity and showed us around the lovely boathouse. Additionally, the Foundation promotes and develops a wider understanding of the importance of organ donation. This charity has plans to expand its services and is always keen to talk to groups about its offerings. 

A group of twenty cyclists did actually take on the cycle ride, in pouring rain, and headed on to Cromer after their brief stop at Tallington. Many congratulations to all of them for completing this ride in such very challenging conditions. 

Thursday 6th June Mrs Justice Carr, Presiding Judge , Garden party

The sun shone in the garden of Cavendish House in Nottingham, as we celebrated the retirement of Mrs Justice Carr as Presiding Judge of the Midlands Circuit. It was a great opportunity to meet a few judges (without their wigs and robes), as well as catching up with some current and past local High Sheriffs. We are very fortunate in this country to be served by a legal system where well-trained professionals take real pride in their responsibility of delivering justice.

Wednesday 5th June. Volunteers in Policing awards evening

This amazing awards evening was held at the King Power stadium to celebrate and congratulate ‘volunteers in policing’ with the Leicestershire Police.  Last year there were 800 volunteers who together contributed 101, 710 hours – an amazing achievement by these brave and dedicated volunteers. The statistics shown here for the contribution by the Special Constabulary, Police Support Volunteers , Volunteer Police Cadets and Chaplaincy are quite extraordinary. The evening, celebrated the work of everyvolunteer with awards being given to those highlighted for extra special effort . It was a real delight to see my Police cadet, Finley O’Riordan win the award for The Royal Society of Saint George Volunteer Police Cadet Community Service Shield – a massive and well-deserved accolade for Finley. His certificate from Leicestershire Police states that the award is for “His brilliant and knowledgeable attitude during community events”. Many congratulations, Finley. (Photograph shows Finley with C/Sup Adam Streets and Mr David Ball)

It was a real privilege to be able to present the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze awards to a number of police volunteers too. It’s a great award that helps to develop many life skills such as confidence, resilience and team work. Well done to all recipients of this award.

Wednesday 5th June Volunteering Fair in Oakham Castle

A great place to meet a wide range of organisations supporting our community together with the help of many volunteers. This sort of event really reminds you of the wide range of activities going on in Rutland and highlights the time and energy given by so many volunteers to make these activities happen. I very much enjoyed talking with many organisations including Root and Branch Out, Age UK, Volunteering Opportunities within Youth Offending, Active Rutland, Parkrun and Junior Park Run, Sailability, Visions Children’s Centre, Out of Hours Club and Oakham in Bloom. There are opportunities for all ages to volunteer with flexibility in hours and times. Contact Oakham CAB or individual websites if you would like to consider volunteering in Rutland. 

Tuesday 4th June. Opening of N Wing at HMP Stocken

Attended the opening of the new N Wing at HMP Stocken. This will house an additional 200 men, taking their capacity to over 1500 Category C prisoners. We had the opportunity to meet many staff and their families at this opening ceremony which provided many with the chance to see where their family member worked. The staff, as in our previous visit, showed real dedication and professionalism in their work. The facilities and activities that have been developed in N Wing are there to help the prisoners with their rehabilitation and to move on to fruitful law-abiding lives. 

Monday 3rd June. Magistrates court at Leicester

This morning we visited the Magistrates Court in Leicester, kindly hosted by Mrs Suzi Felstead JP, Bench Chairman for Leicester and Rutland. It was so interesting to learn about the workings of our Magistrates courts, and the changes and many challenges that they face. Virtually all criminal court cases start in a magistrates’ court and more than 90 % will be completed there.The more serious offences are passed on to the Crown Court, either for sentencing after the defendant has been found guilty in a magistrates’ court, or for full trial with a judge and jury.

We watched three cases being heard in the courts. Most JPs are local people who volunteer their services. They do not require formal legal qualifications, but will have undertaken a training programme, including court and prison visits, to develop the necessary skills. They are given legal and procedural advice by qualified clerks. The time commitment and expertise required by our magistrates is truly impressive. Magistrates are unpaid and give their time freely for a minimum of 13 days per year (possibly including Saturdays) together with updating training. The dedication and time given by our magistrates is truly impressive and essential in helping to maintain ‘law and order’ in our country.

Leicestershire and Rutland has a group of magistrates who are termed ‘MICE’ (Magistrates in Community Engagement). They give talks about the magistracy to a variety of groups eg.WI’s, local area groups, rotary, young people’s groups, etc. They also facilitate visits to the court from groups and schools. Additionally they run ‘mock trials’ that fit different age groups and different scenarios. The audiences actually play the parts (apart from the chairman of the magistrates) and then after having the performance and hearing the evidence, the magistrates go out to make a decision on guilt, just as in a real situation. This can cause some very real and spirited discussion with the audience. In view of the current problems they are writing a new mock trial which involves knife crime. Perhaps your group may wish to consider a talk or mock trial? If so then please contact me and I can forward your interest to the relevant people. 

If you feel that you would like to consider becoming a magistrate then please read here. You need to be aged 18 – 65 years. You do not need formal qualifications, but you need personal qualities of good judgement and character. The role of a magistrate genuinely helps to create a safe society and can be a fulfilling way to volunteer your time. 

Sunday 2nd June. The Rutland County Show

We have had a wonderful day at the Rutland County Show. It is an agricultural show with much more besides. It has a wonderful traditional feel with livestock showing, heavy horses, show jumping and a host of events in the two rings. These included sheepdogs herding ducks, ponies & carriages racing around an obstacle course, a freestyle motocross stunt display to name just a few. Additionally, there were over 200 trade stands selling a range of quality goods together with delicious local food and drink in the Larder. Many local charitable organisations could be found in gazebos around the smaller ring and there was an impressive display of farm machinery from old red Massey Ferguson tractors to ‘state of the art’ combine harvesters. We were very kindly hosted on our visit by David Wood (Chairman of Trustees) and treated to a delicious lunch in the members’ marquee overlooking the action in the main ring. This was a show that really felt like the ‘heart of Rutland’. If you missed it this year then make sure it’s in your diary for 2020.For a few pounds more, than the show day entrance fee, have you thought about becoming a member of The Rutland Agricultural Society, one of the oldest agricultural societies in the country? See website for details.