Farmer Copley’s festival has record turnout

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.'Story: Summer gala held at Farmer Copley's farm, Featherstone.'Photo date: 28/06/15'Picture Ref: AB0108c0615
Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford Express.'Story: Summer gala held at Farmer Copley's farm, Featherstone.'Photo date: 28/06/15'Picture Ref: AB0108c0615

It was a day of records and firsts at Farmer Copley’s annual Farm Festival on Sunday,

More than 8,000 people passed through the Purston farm’s gates to enjoy the attractions on offer, a record-breaking turnout.

Pontefract-based Cat Theatre made its debut at the fair with a mime performance, and also new for 2015 was the local scooter club, dancing dog Fidget Midget, traction engines and music organs.

This year’s dog show had new categories including the dog with the waggiest tale, the mutt looking most like its owner and the best pup at catching dog biscuits.

The main ring was packed full of family favourites including vintage tractors, flyballers, Jo Jingles and Dance Fusion.

Some guests competed in the Axe Games tournament with unusual events including welly wanging, the nail game, bale tossing and an assault course.

The pie eating competition was the final event, and Jack Hankins, 16, defended his title to become champion for the second year running.

Other attractions included a fancy dress procession where children paraded as their favourite nursery rhyme characters, falconry, children’s crafts and strawberry picking.

Heather Copley said: “A great day was had by all. The weather was looking less than favourable but the array of local businesses, groups and charities that promised to attend still came. Then came the people in their thousands and the sun came out - a winning combination.

“We had farmer Jonathon Timms shearing sheep in the mini ring which people really enjoyed and the country pursuits side is an area we would like to improve on for 2016.

“A special thanks must go out to the Pontefract Air Cadets who did a fantastic job handling the traffic and keeping everything moving.”

Next year’s event is planned for June 26.