Emley Show elects new President

Every year it now seems common place to elect a new president for the Emley Show at the December Annual General Meeting, ending the year with a new president who stays in seat for the coming year and next show. This event has now taken place and I feel it is worth putting pen to paper to write this article about our new President April Bray.

April and I spent time together and she talked me through her history of being involved with the show and what being president means to her and what the year will hold. Firstly, I would like to capture that since the show started in 1893, many presidents have had the honour, for one year or several years in the seat but April is the first female to be elected to take up the role. Congratulations April.

April is delighted to have been elected and said “it is an honour to be president and it reflects the modern world of equality we now all live in being the first female president”. April has a long history with Emley Show having been involved in various roles for about 18 year, she recalls. Several years have been dedicated to running the “stickmakers” section with her husband Michael, which to those not in the know, like me, means the beautiful craft of stick making, covering thumb sticks, walking sticks, and crooks, to mention but a few. April has also had the arduous role of planning and ordering all the various “Rosettes” which are awarded on show day, which can total over 1,000 for one show covering all the sections and awards. April did say that it was always key to order a few “extra” for just in case on show day, not to leave anyone out!!

I asked April what the role of president means to her for the coming year and April said that there were several events that she would like to be involved with, those being other local shows like Mirfield, Penistone and Honley, where we can all learn from each other and share knowledge and ideas on how to keep the tradition of the local agricultural shows thriving. With regards to Emley Show, April has to write the “Message from the Show President” which appears within the printed schedule, so she will start early to prepare this as the schedule goes to press early May in preparation for the 2019 show. On show day it will be April who will officially open the show from the main arena with her address to the public then onto hosting the president’s lunch with invited guests and friends.

Speaking with April I felt her enthusiasm for Emley Show shining through and the acknowledgement she continues to give to all the committee members, section secretaries and volunteers who make the show happen year on year. She spoke about the challenges which collectively these people overcome to deliver a show like health and safety, the cost and the huge influence which the weather has which no one can plan or influence! April has seen numerous changes over the years and comments on how the internet and face book do help with communication. Keeping the public easily up to date with the planning and publication for all the sections and classes, which keep it an agricultural show at heart with the cattle, sheep, goats, horses, chickens, caged birds, rabbits, honey, horticulture, craft, cookery, art, photography, stickmakers, fun dog show, wood carving and the all important children’s sections which involves what hopefully will become our next generation of volunteers to keep the emley show a yearly agricultural show.

As we ended our time together to capture the detail of the president’s role, April echoed how delighted she was at being elected and that she looked forward to the coming year, working with Geoff Wraithmell the Vice President and together planning and organising with the committee what she hoped would be a Champion Day Out on the 3rd August 2019.

To close I would like to share the poem which April read out at the annual general meeting following her election, which I feel captures April’s enthusiasm for what is a truly an Emley Show Day,

First held in 1893
Emley show is the place for me
At Factory Farm on Emley Moor
It’s a great day out and that’s for sure

Twelve thousand visitors every year
They welcome guests from far and near
Dogs, horse, cattle, sheep and goats
And rabbits in their posh fur coats

Poultry, cage birds, hamsters too
All waiting to say “Ow Do”
Vintage tractors, carving, baking
Photography and real stickmaking

Horticulture, cakes and buns
And lots to do for little ones
I hope to see you on the day
What a show……. Hip, Hip, Hooray

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