ORGANISERS of one of Cumbria’s best-loved agricultural events is hoping the show will go on this year.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the organisers of Penrith Show hold the 2020 show virtually.

However, although the virtual show held last summer made a standalone profit of £1,500, this, said organisers, was absorbed by the running costs and losses of the Penrith Agricultural Society, which ended giving an overall loss of more than £7,000.

“Belts need t be tightened going forwards,” it was said at the society’s AGM last month.

But at the AGM the society celebrated two firsts — after 186 years it held its first Zoom AGM and voted in its first female chairman — Fiona Kidd from Ousby.

Mrs Kidd is a long-time member of the General and Equine Committees.

Richard Utting, the outgoing chairman thanked the members, trustees and secretary for their support and wished Mrs Kidd every success in her time as Chair.

He finished by expressing “immense pride” in serving as chairman of the society for the past three years.

Tom Barr, the 2020 president was unable to attend the AGM, but sent a message through the secretary to say that it was a great honour to be asked to be society president in 2020.

He was greatly disappointed that the show was forced to cancel and concluded by saying that the society should “Stay true to your roots and maintain the true tradition of Penrith Agricultural Show”.

George Allonby, of Penrith, was voted society president for 2021. George has been part of the show for many years running the dry stone walling section and can usually be found helping to lay water pipes on Show week.

Stephen Lancaster, of Culgaith, was voted president elect, with other new appointments Matt Bland of Edenhall as vice chair and Claire Raine of Wigton as treasurer.

Penrith Mountain Rescue Team was voted “Charity of the Year 2021.

Society members said they would ‘try their best’ to put on an agricultural show on July 17 this year, but added in what form would depend on the vaccine roll-out and Government guidance.

“The society will, over the coming months, keep everyone informed about plans for the 2021 show, so look out for further news,” said a spokesperson.

The Penrith Agricultural Society was formed in 1833 with the Society promoting the first Penrith Show the following year.

This took place in the September on a field adjoining Croft House, Penrith.

Since then the show’s venue is its current site at Brougham Hall Farm on the third Saturday in July each year