Sun Shines on Balmoral Show for VIP Visitors

The four-day Balmoral Show has been hailed a resounding success, with a record 115,000 visitors packing into Balmoral Park – including Prime Minister Theresa May, and the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward.

Mrs May, on a brief visit to Northern Ireland ahead of the General Election next month, surprised visitors on the last day of the show.

Accompanied by Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire, she spent some time around the various stalls, chatting to exhibitors and visitors alike.

Earlier in the week, the show entertained a Royal visitor. Prince Edward, who is patron of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, also met with exhibitors as he went on a walk-about.

Operations Director, Rhonda Geary said: “We are thrilled with how our 2017 Show has went.  The weather was fantastic, the fourth day went brilliantly and the Balmoral buzz was certainly there.  Plans are already well in place for our 150th Balmoral Show which will be held from 16th – 19th May 2018.”

Apart from all the traditional features at the show, this year saw a brand new addition – a Health & Fitness Village, organised and staged by the publishers of Plant & Civil Engineer magazine, Hillsborough based 4SM NI Ltd.

The ‘village’ was housed in a large marquee in a prime position at the showgrounds and provided a health focused platform filled with products and services on how to be more active and live a more healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

Colin McDonald, RUAS Chief Executive with representatives from the five platinum sponsors, SPAR, M&S, ABP, Tesco and Lidl.

Also featured were all the regulars such as Balmoral food village, Craft village, a wide variety of the best livestock, parades of prize winning animals, sheep shearing competitions, top international riders from home and abroad competing in seven International competitions, plus the ever popular children’s farm and displays of vintage machinery.

As for Plant & Civil Engineer readers, their main focus was on the plant and machinery section where exhibitors included McSharry Bros, Glendun Plant, Northern Lift Trucks, Sleator Plant, TBF Thompson, Northern Excavators, Pat O’Donnell, D A Forgie, WAC McCandless, Spence Engineering, Alan Milne Tractors, Ashfield & Wilson, Johnson Gilpin and Cowan Bros.

See the forthcoming print issue of Plant & Civil Engineer for a full round-up in words and pictures.