Two faces familiar to the Midlands rural fraternity are to play major roles behind one of Coventry and Warwickshire’s biggest and well established one day agricultural shows.The Kenilworth Show returns to the show grounds opposite Stoneleigh Park on Saturday, June 7, and the new president and chairman of organisers Kenilworth and District Agricultural Society (KADAS) are determined to build on the success of the 70th annual event. Richard Fonge has played an active role in the running of the Kenilworth Show for the last 27 years, during which time he has enjoyed stints as chairman of KADAS and was also the first show director.
Fonge was farm manager at Hurst Farm in Kenilworth for some 25 years and has been elected as KADAS president. New show chairman, the Rev Gordon Gatward will also be well known to visitors to the Kenilworth Show, along with the agricultural business community. Rev Gatward has been commentating on the main ring attractions at the show for the last 12 years and is a former director of the Arthur Rank Centre at Stoneleigh Park, which serves the rural community through a programme of social projects, resourcing and training. The duo will work alongside show director Charlie Weetman and the Kenilworth Show organising committee to continue to grow the standing of the event. Rev Gatward, who runs agricultural consultancy firm RuServe, said: “Every year the committee has an unenviable job of making the next Kenilworth Show bigger and better than ever.“From the moment the gates closed to the show last year a lot of hard work has been going on behind the scenes to prepare for June 7 and put on a great day out for our loyal band of supporters and newcomers to the show. “We’ve lined up a fantastic mix of entertainment, and once again will be adding new features to the event just like we did last year with the introduction of the new countryside area.”Richard added KADAS is keen to also grow its membership to continue the success of the show and the society’s standing in the community.“The event has grown in strength in recent years and we are now regularly attracting over 10,000 people to join us to enjoy a great day out while also getting an insight into agricultural life,” he said. “As a society we are fortunate to have such willing members, as without them the show wouldn’t happen. “You don’t have to be a farmer or directly associated with the agricultural industry to be a member and indeed we would very much welcome new blood to join us.” The Kenilworth Show will host all the usual agricultural and equestrian classes and feature a wide range of homecraft competitions and trade stands. New attractions and various activities for all the family will be announced in the build-up to the show.