THIS year the Dairy Show, which is taking place live in October, will be celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Allen Cotton OBE, vice-president of the Royal Bath & West Society, who has attended every show, having been an original committee member, reflects on how things have changed over the years.

He said: “I remember sitting round a table and trying decide what time of year to have it – we decided on the first Thursday in October before the car parks got too wet.”

The event, which this year is on October 7, was even held during the foot-and-mouth outbreak, albeit in January, without any cattle. It is a similar situation this year as there will not be any cattle due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Cotton said: “The breeds have changed a lot – the numbers of Holstein Friesians have reduced and have been replaced by Jerseys and Guernseys.

"The Holstein Friesians are also bigger, and the udders on the animals have improved, which is reflected in the higher yields that farmers are achieving.

“We used to produce about 6,000 litres a cow – a 9,000 litre cow was quite exceptional really; now some people’s herds average that.”

Technology has significantly changed over the years too.