Thame show returns to September to help save its future

Thame Show
Thame Show

The Oxfordshire County and Thame Show will return to its traditional September date next year, with bosses warning it ‘could be the last’ if it is not a success.

Since 2010 the event has been held in July, with a break in 2012 for the Olympics, and has been making losses in recent years.

Following a public consultation, the show is to be held on the third Thursday in September for 2014 and director Chris Parker said he believes it will make the difference.

Mr Parker said: “Out of several hundred people that responded to the consultation, more than 90% said they would come and support the show if it was moved to the third Thursday in September.

“It has not worked in July and this is something we had to do.

“This is what people wanted and I think they will get behind us again.”

People have been warned to ‘use it or lose it’, with organisers unable to keep putting on the event if it is not drawing in the crowds.

However, Mr Parker says they are already attracting headline sponsors and displays which will make it a success.

He said: “If we don’t get the crowds it could be the last show, but I think it will be a success.

“This year we didn’t have a headline attraction and had to run the show to a fairly tight budget, but we have already got four sponsors for the headline attraction next year.

“You need more for people to see and more interactive things for them to do.”

Born and bred in Haddenham, Mr Parker has been going to and taking part in the show from a young age and believes getting children through the gate is crucial.

To do this, entry will be free for children aged 11 and under in 2014 and organisers are trying to get schools involved in the day.

Mr Parker said: “Children are the future of the show, so we need to get them involved.

“In the olden days schools gave children the day off for the show.

“We are asking the headteachers’ group if they will change the inset day for us so the children can come.

“If they don’t then we would like Thame Town Council to do something with the schools so children can come into the show.”

Mr Parker said he believes keeping the show going is important because it is an ‘integral’ part of Thame’s history.

He said: “It has been in Thame’s history for a long time and people always look forward to it.

“The name has changed over the years, but it will always be The Thame Show to me.

“I’m sure the changes we are making will be the difference between whether it carries on or not, and I think it will carry on.”

For more information on the show visit the official website.