Agricultural shows are a high point in the calendar for many farming communities, but in Bentham it has become an event that includes the whole town.

A change of venue from a field location to the Auction Mart, in the heart of the town, instantly gave the show more family-friendly credentials, not least of which was protection from the unpredictable North Yorkshire weather.

So while the modern show features the best the area’s farmers produce, it now has a wider community appeal.

It acts as a showcase for the skills of locals involved in handicrafts – not least of which four Women’s Institute branches who compete with friendly, if determined, rivalry.

Pupils from the primary school also get involved and the event – expected to re-start next September after two years’ absence because of the Covid-19 pandemic – attracts widespread interest.

But it would not be possible without the generosity of time from a committee and volunteers who make it possible.

The committee has around 40 members, including some who have moved on to honorary status after career-spanning involvement with the show.

It means those substantially beyond pension age rubbing shoulders with colleagues in their 20s, all with a common purpose of keeping the show alive.

That is following a tradition that started in the 19th Century and has paused only for emergencies such as a foot and mouth outbreak and the more recent pandemic.

Secretary Janet Greenwood said a core of committee members worked through the winter, with more adding weight to efforts as show day – always the first Saturday in August – approached.

On the day, if more help was needed a force of ad hoc volunteers could always be raised, with residents following the North Yorkshire spirit of help and co-operation to make sure the day was successful.

“The show is very popular and since it moved to the Auction Mart it is right in the main street, it happens in the middle of Bentham and attracts more families as a result,” she said.

“There is always a lot of interest in the handicrafts and we often have more than 1,000 entries.

“Without the volunteers the show could not happen and we are hoping next year’s will be a great success after being away for two years.”

The show typically attracts around 3,500 visitors.