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One Day Is Enough - Why Two?

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The Show Secretary and The Rain Queen

A behind the scenes look at what it takes to run a show by Gerhard Zeigler, Show Secretary of Empingham DTC.And yes, he is still talking to Janice...

D-Day - Minus 2
Wednesday, 22 May

'HAVE YOU GOT ALL YOUR PAPERWORK AND ENTRIES SORTED OUT?' shouted Janice Tyers from the kitchen.

'What entries?' replied Gerhard, the Secretary.

'The stuff for the show you idiot' said Janice (aka The Rain Queen)

'Oh that! I though you meant for the committee.

Yes! For the umpteenth time, thanks to Agility Aid and their enthusiasm for dealing with the impossible.' A look of exasperation crosses the secretaryís face.

D-Day Minus 1
Thursday, 23 May

The Secretary again. 'Can't you wait until Iíve had my lunch? I know we have to get to Grimsthorpe and start setting up etc., but no one will be there yet.'

The Rain Queen is getting anxious. Nevertheless, things are running at there normal pace i.e. panic stations. However, equipment tents etc. has arrived and work starts on putting things together.

Blast off
Friday, 24 May

 'Has anyone arranged to collect the club mower from our field?' asked the Secretary.

'Iím going now.' said the R. Q.

'If we can get it on the trailer.' The park area for our show had been cut the previous Wednesday and to save hard work it was decided to pick up the grass and bag it ready for collection. Rather than rake it like last year which was hard work?

Helpers began to arrive; Gerald Clark had collected the fire extinguishers from our sponsor. The ring poles were brought up by Steve together with tables and chairs. Maggie and Pam collected all their stuff for the show and we were about ready to put things together.

'When are they coming with the marquee?' asked R Q at lunchtime. No one answered, trying to keep out of her way.

On returning to the site after lunch no marquee, 'Donít worry. Iím the Secretary. Trust me. Theyíll be hear in good time.'

'But we need to put all the tables and chairs out. The tents at the ring side arenít up yet. The posts need putting in for the rings. I leave you for a few minutes to fetch the mower and nothings done,'

You can now see my reason for going to sit on the mower to get away from the mayhem. Stef and Jackie sneak away quietly to fetch the two-way radios.

I got on the mower and started the pick up. Let the others do the work, wrong again Not until you have sat on our mower felt the vibration and been bounced about on what looks like flat ground do you consider extra padding both outside and inside your trousers. Anyway, just going up and down leaving nice straight line and letting others bag the grass for collection that kept me out of the R Q way and she canít run fast enough to catch me.

As usual everything began to fall into place Tents. Tables chairs Portaloos arrived on time Marquee was erected and all the trophies and rosettes were stored safely. By about 7.30.p.m. the site was ready for the show.

'What about the ring tape?' The RQ again.

'Leave it until the morning unless you want the wind to carry it half way across Lincolnshire.' I grumbled.

One or two of the early campers asked if they could park nearer the rings due to the long grass and wind in the camping area overlooking the lake But as soon as it was pointed out that they had a choice of cow pat alley or long grass, They went off with knowing smiles.  The farmer had put cows on the normal camping area without putting up an electric fence. Problem solved.

And so to bed Her Ladyship stayed in her caravan and for once I could spread across the bed and have a good nights sleep - except for Ridge (BSD) who pinned my legs so that it was impossible to move for some time

Show Day 1
Saturday, 25 May

 Who set the alarm for 5.30.a.m. (One guess only please) Itís Saturday the sun is shining. Much to the displeasure of the RQ no doubt. The birds are singing and why not.  Itís the weekend and I see the look on Ridge and Pipers faces. You do know its show time their faces tell me. Have you noticed the supercilious looks they give when they know they are in the right!  I stagger to the loo, stagger back in the bedroom, throw on cloths, stagger down stairs only to be greeted by Tip-X who also gives me the knowing look. Come on open the door you have been to the loo were standing with our legs crossed.

Back from a romp in the fields, it occurs to me that perhaps I should show my face on the show ground. Iím supposed to be there at 7.00. as instructed. Just another coffee please I ask the dogs, They just look as much as to say you're just asking for trouble.

As I reach the ground things are beginning to happen. Taking my place in the marquee as one should being of high rank and putting up with club members constantly asking if this or thatís been done, (Anyone out there want the secretaryís job please apply immediately). Putting my papers out ready for trouble and non came all day. Only two ladies come in to check the classes they though they had entered. However, looking at their entry forms they realise their mistake and went off smiling.

Michael Collinge the Show Manager started setting out the trophies and rosettes for all to see I sat back and smiled. 'You can take that grin off your face, just wait.' said R Q

As the day progressed and matters were running smoothly, I had the opportunity of having a wander round taking a few photographs for the club and generally enjoying the atmosphere. Only popping back to avoid a couple of short showers.

Show Day 2
Sunday, 26 May

The R Q had asked me to stay overnight in her caravan and enjoy the Hog Roast. Being of sound mind, I declined with the excuse the dogs needed feeding etc and anyway if I had meant to camp I would have been born a snail with a house on by back. Comforts of your own bed come first with me.

'Then be here at 7.30. At the latest.' was the command as she started to walk away 'As show secretary your responsible for all this'

'Of course? But what about womanís lib!' I replied.

'That doesnít apply in this case only when I want it to and not before.'

'You should be so lucky.' I mumble under my breath.

 Sunday a day of rest, or is it.  I arrive about 7.50 and straight into trouble from She who must be obeyed 'Were about to start.' she says. 'So go ahead and start Iím all right Jack anyway the schedule states 8.30.everythings running smoothly. What more do you want at this time in the morning. Toast.' Again, the opportunity arose for a few pictures and a chat to the competitors

All said the same thing the show was fun the classes ran smoothly and the dogs were enjoying the courses. The Rain Queens ambition for a wet day was satisfied with three sharp showers. The judges, ring parties and all the helpers not only not only from our club but those from Tish, Godmanchester, Ray Amps and his gang and many others made the day for everyone. So organising a two day show was worthwhile What about next year Weíll tell you later as every effort was put in to clear the site of all the equipment and tents by 9.00.p.m.

All vestiges of occupation had gone only the marquee and R Qís caravan remained for the following day.

Post-Show Day 1
Monday, 27 May

A final site visit with three club members was made to check for rubbish and generous praise must go to all competitors and friends. We only just covered the bottom of one bin liner with bits of paper and the odd dump that had been forgotten. Thank You All
Post-Show Day 2
Tuesday, 28 May 28

An email was received from the Access Manager of Grimsthorpe Trust. He was delighted at the way everyone had conducted themselves over the two days and the effort put in by all to ensure the least amount of disruption was caused, as other events were being held in the castle over the weekend.

However - and thereís always a 'however' - the lady in the kiosk, a staff member, was upset by a few who refused to pay the entrance fee of £3.00 for visitors to the show although it was clearly shown in the schedule. We have the numbers and know who they are. Nevertheless, to preserve the clubs reputation and integrity with the trustees, these fees were paid out of club.

'We can now have a rest.' I said.

'Oh, no. Weíre booked to give two agility demonstrations and one invitation event starting 3 June,' said Janice.

Here we go again!

The committee of Empingham DTC and its members say a big THANK YOU  to all competitors and friends
who spoke kindly about our show and wished us good luck for 2003.

Photos: G. J. Ziegler