I responded with some suspicion when the cashier at the Coop in Freshwater warned that the Chale Show would be windy. The sky was blue and it wasn't exactly blustery.
10 minutes later she was proved right as we stepped out of the car for our first visit to the show (actually, I might have been years ago and forgotten about it, along with most of the things we did during my childhood on the Isle of Wight).
This year, the main arena acts were a quad biking Australian who jumped over a car and a long haired horse whispering type who leaped on and off horses like he was made of rubber.
We enjoyed both very much but the highlight for me was the huge marquee filled with rows of extra large carrots, prize-winning chickens and competing jars of lemon curd. It gives the show a community feel rather than just being a series of stalls selling resin driveways and 0% finance hatchbacks.
I like to imagine that there are vegetable and preserve related rivalries going back decades and am currently considering a pitch to Channel 4 for a no-holds-barred documentary (I'm a big fan of not barring holds).
The Chale Show is also blessed with a glorious location, so even if you lose interest in the quad bikers you can admire the west wight coastline in one direction or The Pepperpot in the other.
I also thought it was pretty good value. We paid £18 for a family of four and stayed for about three hours. If we weren't trying to fit around a nap routine we'd have spent more time at the live music stage where a group were belting out a pleasant violin version of an Elbow song.
I'm sure the sunshine helped but we left full of praise for the Chale Show. Thanks to all the volunteers who made it possible.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog