Celebrations at Royal Welsh for Caerphilly’s winners
News | | Published: 10:00, Thursday August 2nd, 2018.
Last updated: 08:00, Friday August 10th, 2018
This year’s Royal Welsh Show once again entertained visitors from across the globe as Europe’s largest agricultural show was held at the showground in Llanelwedd near Builth Wells.
The four days of competition took place between Thursday, July 23 and Sunday, July 26, with a 12-hour programme each day celebrating the very best of Welsh and British agriculture.
Caerphilly County Borough was well represented at the show, with several winners from across the county sharing over 20 rosettes.
Rhodri Powell from Bedwas scooped 16 prizes in total for his honey and honey related products.
Mr Powell has been a regular in at the annual show in recent years, and is a member of the Cardiff, Vale and Valleys Beekeepers (CVVB).
This year he claimed first prize for his medium, dark and heather blend honey, as well as a first for his tin of hard furniture polish.
Mr Powell also won the Association Composite Class alongside fellow CVVB members Dinah Sweet and Ray Strange. The competition saw associations from across the country compete in composing a variety of honey related products. CVVB has over 170 members across the Cardiff, Vale and Valleys region.
Ms Sweet and Mr Strange also picked up prizes for their Meade and light honey respectively.
Mr Powell said: “It has been an outstanding year with the weather meaning we have been able to produce a lot of top quality honey.
“This hot and dry spell may have a negative impact in the autumn however, with low river levels affecting flowers like the Himalayan Balsam and crisp flowers not ideal for the bees.
“It has been a great year for us and it would be good to have more people involved from the Caerphilly area.”
Mr Powell now hopes to compete at the National Honey Show in Esher, Surrey in October.
Two young brothers from Llanbradach also picked up several awards for their poultry at only their second show.
Matthew and Sam Gale, aged 13 and seven and pupils at Coed y Brain Primary School and St Cenydd Comprehensive, followed on from their success at the Royal Welsh Spring Festival in May with two first prizes and a second.
Matthew and Sam have been breeding chickens with the help of dad Andrew and grandfather Lewis Raymond since November last year.
Mr Raymond said: “It has been a tiring week. We left on Sunday and came back on Tuesday. We are over the moon to have picked up red and blue cards.
“The boys want to appear at a few more shows over the summer, but it all depends on how they improve their behaviour now over the holidays. Hopefully they’ll be kept busy by keeping the birds going over the summer.”
The show’s most incredible comeback story possibly belongs to a egg producer from Ynys Ddu.
Returning to Builth Wells after winning the Champion Egg prize last year, David Herbert of Hermit Crab Eggs founds his hopes of retaining the title in peril in January.
Mr Herbert came home from work one evening to find that most of his flock had been killed by a fox. His prized stock, winners of many awards for their eggs, had been decimated and the future of his enterprise hung in the balance.
Following encouragement and support from the local community, he was able to rebuild and came away from this year’s Royal Welsh with eleven awards, including five first prizes.
Mr Herbert said: “It is simply spectacular to have achieved this after the fox attack.
“After the event I was absolutely devastated and just couldn’t see how we’d be able to build back up and begin the hard work all over again. I decided to share my experience on Twitter and was blown away by the support offered.
“We had donations of hatching eggs and birds from up and down the country and messages of support from as far afield as New York and Australia.
“Thanks to people’s generosity, we have been able to return to doing what we love.”
Mr Herbert appeared on ITV’s Coast and Country show during the week.
John Davies, Chair of the show’s board of directors, said: “The fact that the show is attracting not only hundreds of thousands of visitors, but also these high status VIPs on a regular basis, illustrates the importance of the event to the wider agricultural industry.”
The Royal Welsh Show returns with its Winter Fair on Monday, November 26 and Tuesday, November 27.