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Bakewell Show: curries, cakes, cheese and cows pull in crowds

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: August 08, 2014

Bakewell Show: curries, cakes, cheese and cows pull in crowds

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VISTORS at this year's Bakewell Show could not help but be impressed by the precision parking that was taking place for those arriving by car, trailer or caravan.

So it will come as no surprise that the military exactness was being controlled by a group of Gurkhas, hired for their acknowledged reliability, while legendary for their fighting skills, as much as their attention to detail.

They are part of the Topher Ltd, set up by Chris Haywood, of Fleet in Hampshire more than seven years ago – an area strongly connected with the Gurkhas' British base who he grew up among.

The business quickly grew its security management from about 12 events a year initially to currently, when his team, which numbers 750 on the books, will be present at 96 events this year, including the RAF Waddington air show and the Ryder Cup.

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But follow your nose and the smell of Nepalese curry will reveal another aspect to Topher Ltd.

Mr Haywood said: "I noticed that the team were cooking their own meals and realised there was a market for authentic cooking.

"So we obtained an Army catering tent and now we not only feed our own guys, but also the British public get to try a dish from the Authentic Nepalese Curry tent."

Food and drink played a big part among the trade stands at the show with items such as buffalo meat, pies, tarts, cupcakes, bottled beers, fruit liqueurs, cheese, fudge, cider, crepes, oatcakes, frozen yoghurt and world-famous Bakewell puddings for sale.

Jill Craddock, 38, of Ashover, said: "I come to this show each year.

"It's a great opportunity to see the animals but I especially like sampling the food that is available and maybe taking home a bottle of wine, cider or a really nice pie."

The warm sunny start to the day meant that people began to arrive early and there was very little need for the wellies and anoraks that were required wearing on day one yesterday.

Gleaming carriages and horses were among the first entrants in to the centre ring when the show opened its doors with the staging of private driving and concours d'elegance.

Adjacent rings were full of cute ponies and their equally cute junior riders taking part in the children's show pony classes and also the Shetland, Dartmoor and Exmoor and mixed mountain and moorland classes.

Clare Smith, 40, of Brassington, was waiting with her daughter, Chloe, 11, who was taking part in one of the classes, with pony Joey.

She said: "Taking part is quite nerve-wracking for both of us and not a bit like just visiting a show for fun when you are not taking part."

The First World War, which began 100 years ago this week and the centre of commemoration events nationally and locally, also provided the theme for the show's resident Storybag theatre company.

The conflict, or rather war songs, provided the theme for the Derbyshire Women's Institute competitions which included flower displays, pies, cakes and crafts.

Show president Mary Morten was pleased with the way the event had gone. She said: "It takes months of hard work but it is always worth it because there is such a great atmosphere and brings people back year after year."

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