Townies get taste of farm life at show
‘‘Everybody pitches in.’’
Sandra Neumann is succinct on how an A&P show comes about, and her description depicts the rich pastoral tradition of regional New Zealand.
Marlborough’s show is in its 141st year since the Marlborough Agricultural Association held its first amalgamated event in 1876. Neumann said various people ‘‘put their hands up’’ each year to pull the event together.
‘‘Some of these guys have been doing it for 40 years. They are amazing.’’
Neumann said her forte was ‘home industry’ - baking, sewing, photography and group days - the latter involving children and their pets.
‘‘People are so proud when they bring their baking in. It gets bigger each year and some of the things that come in are just amazing. The sponges - how many eggs did that woman use?’’
Neumann said hundreds poured through the baking tent taking in the baking and jams, often saying they could do better.
‘‘Then you see them back next year, having a go themselves with something they’ve made. That’s how a lot of people get involved. It’s great.’’
Junior vice president Fiona Higgins said the Marlborough Agricultural and Pastoral Association needed more young people involved in organising the shows.
‘‘We want to keep the rural tradition going. We’re coming up to 150 years of this show, and it’s an important part of New Zealand’s history.
‘‘We don’t want to lose it, and the young ones have fresh ideas about how to keep it going, and how to keep the public wanting to come and have a look.’’
She said the show provided a valuable link for rural and urban communities, with young urban people often having little contact with the rural community.
‘‘In the past, most young people had relatives or someone they knew on a farm but it’s not the same now.’’