THERE were smiles all round as this year’s Wanborough Village and Country Show attracted hundreds of families.

Villagers and people from further afield enjoyed a variety of activities and stalls in Church Meadow on Saturday afternoon.

The annual event featured a dog and flower show, a climbing wall, an inflatable play area, farm animals such as cows, sheep and goats and a show by professional stunt riders.

Chairman of the show Martin Ripley said around 2,500 people had attended the festival.

He said: “I have been chair for nearly 20 years now and it’s the best job in the world. Just look at all the smiling children, the attractions, the craft.

“Many shows like this are dying out for a variety of reasons. We keep doing it as it is a traditional village show but we need to get more sponsorships for more attractions and to attract more people.”

Sue Spreag, the organiser of the flower show, said: “This is the second year we’ve done this. My husband Phil and I have lived in Wanborough for eight years, so we became involved in the show because we wanted to get more involved in the village life.

“It’s really hard work but they absolutely love it. This year has been very difficult year for gardening in general because the flower exhibits are lower this year than in previous years, but the quality of exhibits is exceptional.”

Visitors had also the opportunity to sample a wide range of food in the cookery and baking section.

Sue added: “There are so many entries that is just absolutely phenomenal. And there is really lovely stuff, from homemade jam to cakes.

“We brought some new categories to try and interest a younger audience, but we are always willing to have new ideas for people who want to make something.”

The retired teacher thought many times about giving up due to the hard work that goes with the organisation of the exhibition.

But she said: “Country shows are so traditional; it is really becoming fashionable now and people are reaching for that sense of community that this sort of events give them and it’s a real celebration of country life. It’s very special to live in a village.”

For some, the show is an opportunity to buy local products and meet people with whom they have lost contact.

Festival-goer Catherine Wooster, 82, said: “Everyone is friendly and it’s a nice atmosphere and you do see people you haven’t seen for years.

“My daughter lives in the village and we’ve been coming here for years. But I think, as far as I remember, this is the biggest one I have ever seen which is really good.”

Abby Hunt, 28, whose rescue dog from Greece, Ella, was taking part in the dog show, said: “It’s a fantastic event for the village, supporting the community and we are just trying to do our bit.”

Jan Sangster, 56, lives in Liden and said: “I think it’s very lovely, it is so nice to have something so close to town but so much country. And all the different displays are all really nice. I always look forward to it.”

“I look at the animals, all the different stalls, and that’s important to get local products. That’s just a nice way to spend the day, get out of town and get into the country and it has been well supported which is brilliant.

“I think we are really lucky in Swindon because there are so much going on.”