Listening to the views of visitors is critical for organisers in the planning for running a successful Turriff Show, according to the event's president, Alan Gaul.

The farmer and machinery dealer from Little Whiterashes Farm, by Turriff, said surveys which included feedback from visitors had been a vital element used in shaping the direction of the show.

“It is important to keep the agricultural core of the show which has been there for all our 157 year history,” explained Mr Gaul. “But we can’t stand still. Over the years we have massively increased the variety at the show, so there is something for everyone.”

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Mr Gaul, who has been involved with the show since his father was president in 1979, has helped the show expand significantly with different stands and events as well as getting physically bigger with the purchase of three neighbouring fields.

He was also involved in the committee when the big decision to move the show date back a day so it started off on a Sunday. Mr Gaul said: “This was the best decision we made and transformed the show for families and visitors. We could move it again to a Saturday but the show calendar is too busy at this time of year, so we will be sticking where we are.”

Over the years the show has evolved to encompass different sectors, such as car companies, clothes retailers and gardening. Mr Gaul explained that stands which started off offering a new shed for your mower and barrow, are now offering offices, cabins and hot tubs. There are even architect stands for people wanting to take the next step in upgrading their home.

The 2018 survey of show visitors threw up a desire for a bigger offering of local food and drink. Mr Gaul said: “The feedback we received was a desire for more locally produced food and drink at the show and this is what we delivered.

"We now have a very large marquee offering a good selection of produce from butchers to bakers. The alcohol is also popular with gin, whisky and liquors from the North-east. It is good to give these local businesses a shop window to show off their wares.”

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Building on the food and drink theme, this year the show has cookery demonstrations from Scotland’s Masterchef Gary McLean and the Kilted Chef Craig Wilson, from Eat on the Green, in Udny.

As with most of Scotland’s summer shows it has been two years of cancelled events. Luckily there are still marquee companies, caterers and temporary staff available to put on the event, but Mr Gaul admitted that costs had risen. He said: “Costs have gone up across the board, in some cases up as much as 20%. We have been pushed to put the ticket price up a little from £15 to £17 but still a great value day out.”

One of the highlights this year at Turriff will be hosting the national Highland cattle show with animals coming from across the country to attend. There are 65 cattle registered to attend which is double the usual number of Highlanders.

The horse numbers are also strong with 620 horse and pony entries plus 35 Clydesdales. Sadly, there will be no poultry birds this year due to avian flu restrictions but there are nearly 100 eggs entered for judging.

Pulling all of this together for the 23,000 visitors over two days is no easy task and Mr Gaul was keen to point out the show committee is made up of volunteers who go the extra mile to make it happen.

He said: “The support from the committee is incredible and we are always keen for new members. You don’t need to be a farmer to be involved. We have people from all walks of life and all ages.

"Those from outside farming bring something fresh to the committee and often spot things which we may miss from a visitor experience. I would encourage anyone who wanted to be involved with the show to get in touch.

“This is a special year as we say thank you to our retiring show secretary, Helen Paterson, who leaves after many years and welcome Gail Greig, who joined us in June.

“It is a real team effort putting it together and this year in particular we couldn’t put the show on without the support from our sponsors who we needed more than ever after having no show in 2021 and 22.”