Cumbria’s agricultural shows should be celebrated on many levels.

They are places here town meets country. The city slickers get a chance to glimpse the life of the farmer and the farmers get to see what their peers are doing - and get a look at their bank balance before viewing all the latest tractors on the market!

Agricultural shows are the one place which, as our photos show, it is possible for a human to dress like a dog and still win a prize.

In the Cumberland Show of 1, there was even a giant robot to entertain and awe the crowds.A great touch, but hardly a threat to any farmer. Titan was not ready to deal with the hundreds of jobs that farmers need to do!

It was a bit of a shock to see a champion Texel enjoying an ice cream.

I covered four agricultural shows in New Zealand for nearly 30 years. Our newspaper, the Otago Daily Times, always ran a supplement for the largest one, the South Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Show.

I became so adept at it that, one one occasion, the president, who was meant to be interviewed, told me he was going for a haircut and would be back to have his photo taken and could I just write what he ought to say!

On another occasion, while speaking to the vice president,I told him I didn’t think it would look good for me to tell the world in the following year’s supplement that the president was living with his girlfriend. I still believe that the marriage went ahead quicker than planned because of me -and nearly 26 years later, they are still going strong!

The reason I had to set out my stall and prove my credentials was because of that Texel eating the ice cream.

We had a strong Dutch community where I lived in New Zealand and even celebrated them once a year The tulip fields were a visitor attraction and the Dutch were an active part of the community.

When a local farmer imported a Texel, a sheep that originated from the Netherlands, there was a huge row and “foreign” sheep were banned from the shows for quite some time. Only those involved would know what happened. For the rest, shows in Otago, like shows here, were just a place to spend a wonderful day, or even two, admiring stock, enjoying the entertainment and having fun.