South Uist and Benbecula Agricultural Show will not take place this year, it was confirmed earlier tonight (19th June 2015).
South Uist and Benbecula Agricultural Society (SUBAS) held an Extraordinary General Meeting this evening to gauge support for the popular annual show after an earlier Annual General Meeting was poorly attended.
Around twenty people attended the emergency gathering at Talla an Iochdair. A majority of those present voted to cancel this year’s event and focus on organising a return for the show next summer.
SUBAS chairman DR MacRury said that the committee depended on a large number of people to allow the show to run smoothly and safely. At least fifteen stewards are required to assist on the show ground during the event, along with several more volunteers to manage events within the hall, at the entrance to the grounds, and for setting up and packing away tents and pens before and after the show.
Numbers on the organising committee have dropped in recent years and SUBAS has had trouble recruiting volunteers to help on the day.
To complicate matters further, Talla an Iochdair – where the show is held – has been booked for other events late in July, around the time the show would traditionally take place. As a result, the earliest the show could be held would be later into August, clashing with the Black Isle Show, which is attended by many islanders, or running past the date on which children return to school.
Several new members were brought on to the committee this evening. They will now look ahead to planning the next show in July 2016.
In the meantime, the committee is looking to recruit more members from Benbecula and South Uist, and is planning to organise a fundraising dance on 8th August.