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New MP set to open historic show

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Stroud’s new MP is set to open an historic country show that has resonated with generations for more than 150 years.

Dr Simon Opher will officially open the 154th Stroud Country Show from the main arena at Stratford Park, from noon on Saturday.

Chair of the show Wendy Fabbro told Stroud Times: “We’re so grateful that our new MP has agreed to officially open the show after his first week in Westminster.”

DSC9247 | New MP set to open historic show
Victorious – Dr Simon Opher cheers the result. Pic: Matt Bigwood.

The show, which was cancelled last year due to wet weather, will feature all the traditions of the country show, plus some record-breaking international sport in the form of brick throwing and rolling pin tossing.

To start the spectacle, Stroud Red Band will lead a procession from Stroud College, accompanied by a raft of Morris Dancers and Shire horses.

In pictures: Stroud Show 2023

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A bumper crowd of more than 8,000 is expected at the event, which requires just a donation to enter on the gate. More than 70 stalls will be available along with numerous food outlets.

Wendy added: “We have some traditional events, including competitions, craft, Punch and Judy, and a funfair as well as plenty of quirky events like the international brick throwing contest against Stroud, Australia, welly-whanging for the children, and a battle of the bands for mainly youth bands competing to play on a big stage at Chalfest.”

Stroud Show 1935 – pictures courtesy of Annie Blick

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The show isn’t possible without the volunteers, who give their time for free, Wendy said: “We are entirely run by volunteers and donations to celebrate all skills, talents and connections that are unique to our Stroud communities.”

stroud show 2024 amended 1 | New MP set to open historic show

The day is especially poignant for mum and resident artist of the show Rachel Pegler, who told Stroud Times: “I’m humbled that the show is in memory of my beautiful daughter Molly, who sadly and suddenly passed away in the summer of 2022.

“There will be children’s tent with story time, paint a pot, crafts, biscuit decorating and a huge piece of community art with proceeds going to the James Hopkins Trust, themed The Biscuits, which is based on the book series I had created to raise funds for medical treatment for Molly.” 

Gates open from 11.30am until 6pm.

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