Waverley show popular as ever

By Laurel Stowell

From flower arrangements to farm equipment, Monday's Waverley A&P; Show had it all.

Children at the primary school had an optional day off to enjoy it, and most of them did. The streets surrounding Dallison Park were lined with cars and the grounds were full of meeting and greeting.

Waverley volunteer firefighters and a uniformed police constable mingled with the crowd.

Waverley A&P; Association secretary Ruth Lupton has helped organise the show for the past 13 years and said it hadn't changed much, "except to get a wee bit bigger". It is supported by about 80 active members and sponsored by local businesses.

The show still features all the traditional attractions including the home industries, flower arrangements, the grand parade, the children with calves and lambs, dog trials, fencing competition and trade exhibits. Miniature horses were a new addition, Ms Lupton said.

A sign of modernity this year was a trade tent with IT equipment, and an information tent on TrustPower's proposed wind farm.

Having everything in one place, including a fortune teller, fundraising raffles and stalls created a great buzz and the crowds came out, despite the wind.

Former Waverley woman Ailsa Aiken was back for the day and said the fact that the show hadn't changed a lot over the years was part of its attraction.

"They still have all those fun things like guess the weight. This time it's a load of firewood, but it always used to be an animal."

The home industries shed had knitting, flower arrangements and displays from Waverley's school and playcentre. Children had also made sand saucers and vegetable animals. There were cakes, slices and preserves, along with a large array of roses in vases for judging.

Equestrian events were taking place in the ring, which was vacated for the grand parade.

Waverley may be one of the only A&P; shows left in the North Island where animals are still penned and judged, in an event sponsored by Silver Fern Farms, the owners of the Waitotara meatworks.

Organiser Phil Evans had 129 lambs, mostly crossbreds, penned. He said the event was a tradition of at least 10 years, and an occasion for friendly rivalry between local farmers.

Judging was at 10am and Waverley farmer Eric Lennox won both categories, for gift and export lambs.

The 24 gift lambs were killed yesterday and judged again as carcasses hanging at the Waitotara meat works. The farmers who donated them were invited into the chiller where more prizeswere given.

The carcasses are then sold and the money goes into funding next year's show.

Sponsors, Silver Fern Farms, provided a lunchtime barbecue.<inline type="photogallery" id="16107" align="outside" embed="no" />

- Wanganui Chronicle

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