8 December 2000

Womens Own key part in stock show round…

Whats there for me? That question is posed by many

farmers wives on the round of autumn and winter

livestock shows and fairs. Robin Cradock reports

from the National Primestock Show where the

Womens Own section is a key part of the event

TWELVE years ago when Mick Bradshaw became chairman of the National Primestock show at Stafford his wife Anne pointed out to him that there was little or nothing for lady visitors.

"I said to him Smithfield has London – and thats what the wives go for. Here we are on a showground on the edge of Stafford, we needed something for farmers wives, and for the public to broaden the appeal of the show and generally to get more people to come."

So Mick told her to get on and organise an event. Twelve years later and this years Primestock Show had an entire carpeted hall devoted to the Womens Own section with about 30 trade stands, ranging from cookers to clothes, and many displays giving ideas for Christmas.

Annes secret weapon this year was her daughter-in-law Amanda Bradshaw, who organised fashion shows on each day, featuring clothes by Planet, Winsmoor and Precis from Beatties of Burton-upon-Trent. Planet is the label which offers contemporary clothes for the professional modern woman. Windsmoor this season continues to focus on colour and texture while Precis Petite offers perfectly proportioned clothes for shorter women.

Two fashion shows were staged each day, with those on the Sunday alternating with the MLCs Fanfare of Food cutting and cookery demonstrations by chef Simon Smith of Thrales Restaurant in Lichfield and Viv Harvey, a MLC presentation and display specialist.

&#42 Constant change

As Anne explains, the changes need to be constant to hold interest. "However we recognise it is always difficult to do this. At the moment, it is down to economics. People are finding it difficult, farming is under stress and so are retailers. It, therefore, can be quite late in the day before you know who or how many stands you may acquire.

"But although we are here to complement the Primestock Show, I hope that we have produced an event good enough to stand on its own merits."

The Bradshaw connection does not start or end with the Womens Own section. The family business, wholesale quality butchers supplying retailers across the midlands, also slaughters and prepares carcasses for the Primestock Show, which this year had a record 100 exhibits.

Bradshaws was founded by Micks great grandfather, and now Mick and Annes sons, Howard and John, are the fourth generation to be involved.

The feminine touch: Amanda and Anne Bradshaw (above) organised attractions for women at the National Primestock Show.

Fashion shows and beauty

treatments were there to be

enjoyed but the beasts are what

the main show is all about as

Sally Burnett (left) can confirm.