Anticipation is building for this year’s Point Agricultural Show on Saturday, July 14 – and Point and Sandwick Trust are pleased to announce we have doubled our sponsorship of the event.
The Point Show, held for the first time in 2003, is a hugely popular community event. Depending on the weather, it can attract a couple of thousand visitors and locals who now live away on the mainland are known to come home for it.
It is held at the Aird School showground, with gates opening at 1pm. The official opening – by broadcaster Anna Macleod this year – takes place at 1.30pm. Gate entry prices are £4 for adults, £2 for children and £10 for a family ticket of two adults and two children.
There are around 12 competition sections, including the community award for best village – sponsored by Stornoway Trust – and many categories for livestock, fruit and vegetables, baking, arts and crafts. The horse show has returned this year and there will be plenty entertainment, including a performance by the Lewis and Harris Pipe Band immediately after the show opens.
There will be plenty for the children, including bouncy castles and face painting, and there is also a welly decorating competition this time, as well as some popular games including ‘hook a duck’ and ‘splat the rat’ and a Nerf gun range, run by Pursuit Hebrides.
Teas, coffees and cakes will be provided, plus a barbecue, offering burgers and hot dogs.
Point Agricultural Society run the show and their chair, Grace Smith, said our £1000 sponsorship had made a massive difference.
An increase from £500 support in previous years, it helps meet their expenses.
These include cover from St Andrew’s First Aid and insurance – both several hundred pounds – and the hire of a minibus to ferry visitors from their cars, which can be parked as far away as the Sheshader turn-off, to the showground.
“This £1000 goes a huge way to covering the costs,” she said.
Grace said all the arrangements were “coming along” and praised the many volunteers, including those who turn up on the day to manage stalls and man the gates – as “without them we couldn’t put on the show”.
The ladies of Women for Mission put on the tea and cakes in the community centre and Grace said: “They really are the best bakers so we’re very lucky.”
All exhibits, including the wellies, have to be in by 10am on show day, in plenty of time for judging. It all goes towards making the show one of the highlights of the year.
“It’s really the only community event in Point in the year,” said Grace.
“People come home for it and on a nice day it’s a lovely day out. There’s loads for the kids and everything. It’s a fantastic day.”
Of course, the one element the organisers cannot control is the weather – and last year they suffered a blow when one of their brand new tents, bought with Lottery funding, blew down two days beforehand and was ruined.
“What a mess it was,” said Grace. “The framework was all bent and broken. It was totally ruined.”
The organisers are hoping the sun shines on them this year.
Grace said: “The last few years we’ve had pretty bad weather and it has affected the numbers but on a good sunny day we’d get up to 2,000 people, so hopefully we’ll be back to that.
“It’s been pretty poor about four years running. Last year was pretty bad but we still had over 1,000 people come. It is well attended and it’s a nice-sized show. Everything is within that field and the school grounds. You’re not having to walk a long way to get to anything else.
“If it’s dry, I’d be happy. It doesn’t have to be sunny – just dry and not windy!”
Donald John MacSween, Point and Sandwick Trust general manager, said: “We are pleased to announce an increase in our sponsorship support for the annual Point Show to £1000 per annum.
“The new deal recognises the importance of the show to people in Point and Sandwick and visitors from outwith the area. The show organisers put in a power of work throughout the year to ensure that the event continues to be a resounding success, despite the vagaries of the Lewis climate and the loss of the Aird school building.
“We look forward to an enjoyable day out with something to appeal to all ages.”
• All photos used here, from previous Point Shows, are courtesy of Point Agricultural Society.