THE Newbury & District Agricultural Society has announced the chairman and president who will lead its staff and huge volunteer team in the drive towards the Royal County of Berkshire Show on September 19 and 20.
Retired local businessman George Bucknell, who lives in Aldworth, has been named as this year’s chairman and at his side as president will be Reading Football Club co-chairman Sir John Madejski.
A dairy farmer’s son and originally from Reading, Mr Bucknell opted for the automotive business and built Speen Garage into a successful dealership.
His involvement with the show spans 40 years – from exhibiting his business to volunteering, first as a steward in the country area, and then as head of the heavy horse section.
“The show has become a national rather than local event over the time I have known it, but it still retains its charm and a big slice of Berkshire life,” he said.
“It also brings the countryside to townsfolk and bridges the divide between the more urban east of the county and the rural west.”
As well as Reading FC, Sir John’s business portfolio spans broadcast media, hotels, restaurants and publishing.
He is the Chancellor of the University of Reading and a benefactor to many institutions, especially in academia, education and the arts.
He says he was honoured to receive the approach to serve as show president.
“Berkshire is a wonderful county with a lot to shout about and the show is an excellent medium to do that,” he said.
“The team behind it works so very hard to bring it all together over two days.
“It is, if anything, a pity that it can’t run for longer. I am really looking forward to it.”
Organisers are expected to announce the big attractions for this year's show in June.
They are, however, promising a main ring highlight to rival last year’s daredevil motor cycle stunt riders and a lot more on the ‘have a go’ theme that saw 2014 show goers trying their hand at everything from being a celebrity chef to riding a satellite-guided tractor.
Early bird tickets can be bought online from June with the incentive of substantial savings.