Review of ‘The Book of the Bakewell Show’, by Linda Robbins and Lesley Draper

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 1st December 2003, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.


by Linda Robbins and Lesley Draper
Published by Halsgrove
ISBN 1-84114-310-0 (2003)

This new title from Halsgrove traces the history of what many of us know as simply 'The Show'. Authors Linda Robbins and Lesley Draper have brought together a broad selection of historical anecdotes gathered from news cuttings, catalogues and original documents, interspersed with personal recollections. A lot of people will recognise names and faces, perhaps even their own, in these pages.

A fascinating insight is given into the decisions which have shaped the show and helped to make it the special rural event it is. With a foreword by the Duchess of Devonshire, The Book of the Bakewell Show is an impressive large format hardback with 144 pages containing over 150 photographs dating back many years. It makes nostalgic and intriguing reading for anyone with an interest in agriculture, for everyone who has ever had a great day out at the show and, especially, those die-hards who never miss it, come rain come shine - very often the former, as a number of photographs testify.

Bakewell Show is the largest tented agricultural event in the UK, also one of the oldest. Over the years it has evolved from a purely agricultural gathering where local farmers vied with the gentry for championship titles to a show which reflects the diversity of farming and the countryside today. It is high time that its history was put on record and this book does it full justice. Incidentally, if you don't know why the show is often known as the 'Little Royal', this is where you will find the answer.

Review by Julie Bunting

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