TYNEDALE Agricultural Society, the body behind Northumberland County Show, has a new man at the helm.

West Woodburn farmer Robert Raine stepped up to the plate having already served three years as vice president of the society and many as a member of the show’s organising committee.

He replaces outgoing chairman James Wardle, who said: “With Robert’s experience, insight and great personality, I am delighted to pass on the chairmanship into safe hands.

“He will no doubt introduce fresh ideas and guide the show through the next three years with confidence, vision and good humour.”

The Raine family are respected Texel and Blackface sheep breeders and have a long association with Northumberland County Show.

During last week’s annual general meeting, it was decided not to increase prices at next year’s show either on the gate or for competitors and trade stands.

Robert said: “We think it is important that as a community based, not-for-profit organisation, we do what we can to encourage enterprise, economic growth, awareness of rural life in the general public and engagement with all sectors of society.”

At the same meeting, Robert’s daughter, Rachel, became the third generation of the family to be appointed as the Youngs RPS sheep section chief steward for the show. Parents Robert and Jackie and her grandfather have all held the post.

And the notable retirements of chief steward Lesley Rowell and home craft section treasurer Jean Oliver were announced. They were presented with Life Membership of the society in thanks for all their hard work.