A RECORD crowd took advantage of the glorious Bank Holiday weather on Monday, flocking to Bywell to celebrate Northumberland’s farming community and everything else on offer at Northumberland County Show.

Over 27,000 visitors descended on the show – the largest crowd to turn out in the show’s five years at Bywell.

Sunglasses were on, ice creams were enjoyed and visitors packed around the main arena in their hundreds for most of the day.

As well as the main agricultural presentation and the grand parade, at 3.30pm, the main arena hosted various forms of entertainment to keep the whole family occupied throughout the day.

New to Northumberland County Show this year, Atkinson Action Horses attracted a huge crowd who cheered in all the right places as riders performed impressive stunts on horseback.

And for the first time, British Carriage Driving mounted a demonstration, rolling into the main arena with a fine display of varied and mixed teams.

Organised by experienced single horse driver, steward and judge Patti Atkinson, the timed race around an obstacle course demonstrated that the sport was open to all.

Away from the main arena, visitors enjoyed the food on offer from local outlets at the food court, while watching attractions such as the birds of prey, tug of war and wrestling.

Whitley Chapel Young Farmers flew the flag for Tynedale in the tug of war, coming runner up in the ladies 580kg, and winning in the ladies 520k and men’s 680kg.

Meanwhile, local artist Alex Clark, of Alex Clark @ Corbridge, judged the children’s art competition in the Creative North marquee and was impressed with the talent of the children at Hexham Priory School.

The children created a model of Bamburgh Castle, with model children around the outside sporting stuck-on pictures of their own faces.

“What I loved about that one was that it had a lot of personality,” explained Alex.

The special individual prize went to Olivia Stafford (12) from Corbridge Middle School for her model of The Sage in Gateshead made from broken CDs.

While the little ones enjoyed marvelling at the fluffy bunnies in the rabbit tent, the competition was fierce and Ruskins Ruby, a white English Lop, and owner Phil Batey from Carlisle, won the British Rabbit Council best in show prize.

And when visitors weren’t taking in the shows, artwork and animal classes, they were whizzing around the fairground rides, walking alpacas and even playing bubble football.

Armed police manned the event, stopping for selfies and chatting to visitors, so their presence wasn’t an intimidating one.

And the mini police, Army, Air and Sea cadets, as well as firemen from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, also gave up their Bank Holiday to have a presence at the show.

Event organiser Judy Willis said: “I am delighted with how well it’s gone.

“We couldn’t have asked for better weather.

“A bit of cloud cover is always good, with a little breeze for the livestock, because we have got to think of the animal welfare and the county show visitors.

“The feedback has been very positive. The show is mostly run by volunteers and that’s one of the things we’re most proud of – and once again I would say it has been a big success.”