It started a year before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II but 67 years on there is still great affection for Melton’s annual Christmas Fatstock Show.
The event, at Melton Livestock Market, features a mix of top quality animals being shown and sold, floral art and competitions showcasing some of the best local produce, from cakes and curds to sausages and Melton pork pies.
Tuesday’s 67th edition of the Melton and Belvoir Agricultural Society show saw plenty of success again for local farmers and food producers on another busy day at the market.
Hugh Brown, who is CEO of the market and chairman of the society, told the Melton Times: “It’s been another fantastic turnout this year.
“It’s a special year for the market with this being our 150th anniversary show and it’s nice to see the fatstock show is as popular as ever.”
Mayor of Melton, Councillor Malise Graham, presented the trophies and he commented during the event: “As a rural councillor myself, this is what Melton is all about.
“It is wonderful to see such a thriving market today and there has been some lovely food in the fatstock show.”
Champion beast this year was a limousin bull shown by Stainby’s Jonathan Thompson, who won the coveted Brownlow Challenge Cup and a cash prize of £400.
Robert West took home the prizes for best pen of three continental lambs (both under and over 42kg) to continue an impressive six-year winning streak.
Mr West, who works for JF Burbidge of Collyweston, said: “It’s always prestigious to win a show like this because when we sell the lambs the butcher can display a rosette to show they are prize-winning animals.”
Across the market in the exhibition hall, the prizes were being given out for floral art, with Melton resident Andrina Terzza’s entry being named best in show.
Andrina said: “I built the display around an angel and she inspired me to create it.”
It was a good year for the Colston Bassett and District Dairy, which scooped the trophies for best two Stilton cheeses and best midland cheese, Clawson Dairy finishing runner-up in both categories.
Walkers Charnwood Bakery won four of the five pork pie classes with Oakham-based Leesons Butchers taking the other.
Mick Thompson, who is 80, was delighted to pick up the trophy for best selection of speciality pork sausages on behalf of Grasmere Farm, of Deeping St James.
He joked: “I’m supposed to be retired so it’s lovely to win it.”
There was plenty of delicious food on show in the home baking categories, with Goadby Marwood’s Elaine Holmes winning first prize for best six mince pies.
Janet Seston, of Edwinstowe, was judged to have the best home baking exhibit, as well as winning the classes for best Christmas-themed cake, lemon curd and chutney.
One of the produce judges, Matthew O’Callaghan, said: “We had some really excellent pies in particular and it was another difficult year for the judges to choose the winners.”