Marquees may not sound like the most important thing for us to be helping with, but they’re expensive bits of kit and for famers they’re essential if they want to attend show such as the Patterdale Show to promote themselves.
A lot of the regional country shows are starved of support and it’s really important that the marquees are provided because they’re the roof under which lots of events, rural communities, makers, farmers and all kinds of other people gather. Marquees are incredibly expensive – tens of thousands of pounds- but once they’re bought they can be used all around the county for different events, supporting local causes and creating gatherings and parties and all sorts of other different things.
The Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association (HSBA) has recently bought a collection of several big marquees with the support from across the county. We made a small contribution of £500 towards them and it’s part of the additional support we offered when we developed the Herdwick Branding - monies from other funding bodies and larger corporate sponsors made up the rest. The marquees have been specifically designed to advertise and market the Herdwick brand and they had their inaugural outing at the Gosforth show before being used again at the Patterdale Show.
Marquees help the shows to take place and survive and they bring all the local communities together at least once or twice a year – as well as allowing visitors the chance to join in and understand more about life in rural farming communities.