WEEKEND WEB: Haven’t we been here before?
CHRIS CARTER is disappointed that one of the area’s largest agricultural shows is on the move, in WORD ON THE GROUND.
So January comes round again and as usual it’s time for a trip to what’s billed as the UK’s largest farm machinery show, LAMMA (Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Association) This annual show first saw the light of day within Lincolnshire in 1982 as a showpiece for local manufacturers. It moved to Newark for a few years and then in 2013 to Peterborough at the East of England Showground.
In 2012, the concept and the name was sold to a publishing company, who to their credit have ‘grown’ it into a fantastic showpiece event at which every major manufacturer was present, as well as numerous local supply companies on whom farmers rely during the year. January is a relatively slack time of year, so it’s an ideal time of year to take time and have a pleasant day with a bit of gossip and look at bits of kit you can’t afford!
Unfortunately, this year a major storm passed through on the evening of day one leading to day two being cancelled for safety reasons.
Sadly, also it marks the end of a local presence for the show, as it’s moving to the NEC next year.
Many I spoke to were extremely unhappy at the prospect for several reasons.
Currently, the show is free to enter and free to park, something the NEC would never allow! Secondly, the costs of attending the new format show will be much higher for exhibitors and attendees. Thirdly, as well as taking the focus away from Lincolnshire, the NEC is not a natural habitat for the average farmer; there’s too much concrete, too many motorways, too much heat and again, too much cost!
There’s history in this and maybe LAMMA will be a repeat of the Royal Show debacle, which saw its final show, after 170 years, in 2009.
The Royal Show closed because of diminishing numbers of exhibitors and visitors but also because it sold its prime asset, Cereals, to a publishing company, which to this day continues to develop this event into the major summertime agricultural show, based outside the Eastern Counties!
Deja vu? Who knows?