Royal Bath Show to cut fourth day from 2020 schedule

Organisers of England’s only four-day agricultural event, the Royal Bath & West Show, have decided to cut a day from the schedule.

The decision, which is due to come into effect for the 2020 show, is understood to be a bid to ease pressure on traders and exhibitors.

Chief executive Rupert Cox said the society had been weighing up reducing the number of days for several years.

“We have consulted with our key stakeholders; traders and exhibitors, and have responded to their concerns with regard to servicing a four-day show, which we know is becoming a challenge for many of them,” he said.

As a 240-year old agricultural charity, it is imperative that we continually evolve.

“We see this as a great opportunity to enhance the show to make it even more relevant to our visitors while maintaining the integrity of our heritage, and we will continue to provide a nationally renowned competitive platform for livestock, horses, cheese, cider and the array of other competitions we host.”

The society proposes to hold the event in the same Whitsun week that it has done for many years but to run from Thursday, May 28 until Saturday, May 30, 2020.

“We believe that we will be able to improve the quality of our wonderful Show while increasing the content for our loyal visitors,” Cox added.

Cattle and sheep exhibitor Vicky Smith reckons taking the show to three days is a great idea. “Although the show was spread out well over the four days, that extra day really does make a difference,” she said.

“For us, it means an extra day off work, which is lost income, while for exhibitors that pay staff it will be a saving. I think it may encourage more exhibitors.”

Garden and agricultural equipment dealer SJH Machinery agreed. “We have been saying for a couple of years now that the show would be better over three days,” said managing director Steve Hale.

Taking four days out of the business at what is the height of our season can be particularly challenging.

Sheep exhibitor Jock Muirhead is similarly supportive. “Reducing the show to three days would be a good saving for our business; livestock staying for four days is a big strain on resources at home,” he said.

“Shows are a great shop window for our business – the new proposal will create a greater showcase for the livestock industry. Out of the numerous shows we compete at, we find the Bath & West to be the most helpful and cleanest, with the best facilities and a child-friendly relaxed atmosphere.”