It’s nearly showtime for 200-year-old society

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Unless you’ve been living under a bush with no comms, you might be aware there’s a big day approaching. No, not the royal baby, the Border Union Agricultural Society’s 200th anniversary.

One of the society’s main events takes place next week, with the staging of the two-day Border Union Show at Kelso on Friday and Saturday.

Society secretary Ron Wilson has pulled out all the stops with a host of attractions lined up to celebrate the milestone.

He said: “Agriculture has always been vital to the Borders economy and this is as true now as it ever was. In our bicentenary year, we not only want to look back at the achievements of the past, but also highlight the role that farming continues to play in shaping the Borders countryside and enhancing our lives today – be this through the creation of fabulous food, employment or fashion.”

This year’s show will be attended for the first time by HRH The Countess of Wessex, Royal Patron of the Border Union Agricultural Society’s Bicentenary year.

Major crowd-pullers for the 200th birthday are rooted in farming, linking the area’s strong agricultural heritage to the countryside today

They include a pageant celebrating the History of the Horse, a Story of Wool showcase and the Flavour of the Borders Food Fair, featuring world renowned chefs, including Albert Roux.

The pageant celebrating equines will take place in the main ring next Saturday, looking at the different roles the horse has played in the region from Roman times to the modern day.

The Story of Wool will look at the importance of farming and textiles to the Borders, taking visitors from shearing to wearing, and will include fashion shows featuring local top-flight designers.

The Flavour of the Borders Food Fair, championing local produce, will feature more than 50 artisan food producers and several live cookery demonstrations by famous chefs.

Ron said: “We have a wide variety of special attractions planned and even have specially planted plots adjacent to the showground that will be harvested using vintage and modern machinery to demonstrate both old and new farming practices.

“We will also display a new map of the Tweed River that traces the path of this waterway and illustrates its importance to the area’s agriculture and textile industry.

“For those who have not been to the show before, this will be a great year to visit and I am sure regular attendees will find the new additions add even more enjoyment to what is always a great day out.”

Read more about the show, its special events, history and a few words from the society’s president – the Duke of Roxburghe– in next week’s Farming Review pull-out .