By Neil Atkinson

The great came in the form of towering Shire horse Robinson, weighing in at something approaching a ton.

And the small came in the form of the cute and cuddly Netherland Dwarf rabbits, curled in a cage and coming in at less than a bag of sugar.

Contrasts like that are what makes Honley Show a living, breathing version of All Creatures Great & Small – or maybe Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet.

But the highlight of Huddersfield’s summer is so much more than that for so many people.

And on Saturday, despite early morning drizzle, the hordes made their way to the Farnley Tyas showground for an event which has been running in its current form since 1921 when the Honley Show was held at the Honley Cricket Club.

Many years prior to that, the Honley Floral, Horticultural and Agricultural Society had held regular shows in the village, as did many communities around Huddersfield.

Today’s show is still centred on animals and country pursuits but it offers so much more. The sights, sounds and smells may have changed but they are still a big part of the day.

Gallery of images by: Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE


Robinson, the five-year-old Shire horse, was one of the stars of a parade in the main ring. His owners had spent three hours getting him ready for his appearance, plaiting his mane and tail and covering his hind legs in fancy boots to keep them clean.

It was a similar story for other owners; the goats, the Highland cattle, the dogs, the rabbits and the sheep were washed and brushed ready to compete for the prized Honley Show awards.

Work had started preparing the showground days earlier, with arenas built, marquees hoisted and car parks arranged.

Out of the farmer’s fields owned by John Dodson was created a mini village with numerous attractions and facilities besides the animal events.

There was a hark back to the past, with vintage tractors, cars and trucks, Punch & Judy shows and fairground attractions but also gleaming 2024 cars, mobile homes and state-of-the art trade stalls.

And, of course, being Honley there were the views: mile after mile of fine Yorkshire countryside visible from almost every corner of the sprawling showground.


Ian Holmes, resplendent in bowler hat, is the show’s new president after spending more than 40 years as honorary solicitor.

He was delighted with the show and said: “It was a little disappointing early in the morning with the weather but the day brightened and we were determined to make it a good show.

“It’s a real event, a highlight of the season, and one of the biggest one-day shows in the whole of England.

“I knew a lot of hard work was involved but until I started attending committee meetings, I never realised just how much. All these people who have worked so hard to put this on deserve our thanks!”

The hard work never stops, of course. Hours after the last of the visitors had made their way down the hill, volunteers were busy clearing the fields and dismantling tents. And already planning for the next Honley Show…


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