Show has given Chris 40 years of enjoyment

Just Regional
May 9, 2016 3 mins read

Chris Self is synonymous with the Aylsham Show.

Every year there is a new president, who becomes the ‘face’ of that year’s event and works hard to ensure their particular show is memorable.

But the show secretary is the back room organiser, the coordinator, the linchpin.

Yes, the secretary is backed up by the show council, the head stewards, sub committee chairs and all the other volunteers, but it’s an absolutely crucial job. And Chris has been at the helm for a mind boggling 40 years, many of those years alongside his wife Ann, who has been assistant secretary for 25 years.

“Hubert Sheringham, a partner at Irelands where I was working, asked me to take on the job for the 1977 show because the secretary was ill,” explained Chris.

“Unfortunately the secretary died, so I carried on.”

Chris has very few regrets – perhaps missing a family wedding in Hampshire, and also a close friend’s daughter is getting married in Newmarket this year, which he and Ann will miss because it clashes with the show. But other than that, he says: “I have thoroughly enjoyed all of it.”

So are there any favourite memories? The Household Cavalry Musical Ride is a firm favourite for Chris, as is the expansion in the number of classes at the show, which has risen from 70 to 300 during his tenure.

The introduction of the cookery theatre, the retention of the importance of livestock to the show and the education in the food hall are also stand outs.

“We are here to promote agriculture and horticulture – that’s the main aim of the association. Alongside that I would hope to think we produce an enjoyable, affordable day out which is cosy, user friendly and attractive to families.”

The job for the next show secretary will change to an extent, with some administrative responsibilities passing to sub committees in order to lighten the load.

But the time commitment will still be significant.

“Anyone interested, be it an individual or perhaps a couple, is welcome to come in to Ewing Self and see me for an informal conversation,” said Chris.

“There is of course plenty involved, but equally whoever does it will gain an enormous amount of experience and friendships from the role.

“The people who put the show on work very hard and there is a huge amount of commitment and effort.

“You won’t be alone!”

Entry prices for this year’s show have been held again. Those aged 16 and over are £12 in advance (either online now or from local shops later in the year) or £15 on the gate, with children and parking free.

Chris Self who is stepping down from his Aylsham Show role after 40 years

Chris Self who is stepping down from his Aylsham Show role after 40 years

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