ANNUAL REPORT 2020
WWW.KENTSHOWGROUND.CO.UK • WWW.KENTEVENTCENTRE.CO.UK
2020 would have been the 91st Kent County Show. This year, alas, we
were dealt a gloomy blow.
"Any events that have
taken place at all in such a
difficult year is testament
to the tireless dedication
by the staff, members
Of the many words used to describe COVID-19, ‘uncertainty’ is one we
have all heard too much of. In normal years, it takes twelve months
to plan a County Show. To do so helps minimise these ‘uncertainties’.
One certainty is required, however; that the Showground gates can be
opened to welcome the public. This year, held as we were in the icy
grip of COVID-19, the show could not be hosted.
The Showground has, therefore, been shorn of its usual sources of
income. The mission to adapt, and ensure the charity continues for
another 90 years has been all consuming.
In spite of this adversity, a raft of socially-distanced ideas have been
explored to bring people to the grounds and to bolster the charity’s
coffers. That any events have taken place at all in such a difficult year
is testament to the tireless dedication by the staff, members and
volunteers that underpin the Kent County Agricultural Society.
Undoubtedly next year will still be choppy and planning for events will
remain taxing. But there is a glimmer of light growing brighter by the
day; that events and the public’s confidence in them will return. But if
this year has taught us anything, it is that there is the resolve to ensure
that this Show can, must and shall go on.
2020, the year that just kept giving! As my second year as Chairman of
the Kent County Agricultural Society ends, it has been another eventful
year, or not, for KCAS.
As my first year at the helm ended in what you could only be described
as a biblical autumn and winter, it has been another year of trying
times. As I said in last year’s report, juggling my own farm and the
Society at the same time can be interesting, especially when you
have a country that just likes throwing weather into the mix, along
with the odd pandemic as well. The weather was very unkind to most
farmers with rainfall of over 700mm falling from 22nd September to
the beginning of March- one of the wettest years most of us have ever
known. Again, we had a very dry spell from April to July and again, in
August we had our normal bit of rain to break harvest into two. As
farmers had struggled with the wet winter, there were not too many
winter crops in the ground, but a lot of spring crops had been sown,
which never yield as well as the winter crops. This has led us to a
shortage of most crops with wheat crops being down by 40%. With the
drought from April leading to a big shortage of hay and straw, and not
a lot of grass around, again the livestock farmers are struggling for feed
and bedding this year. I do hope that this year’s drilling has all gone to
plan and everyone has managed to get their crops in the ground timely,
unlike last year.
So, to KCAS and what has been going on? Well, all I can say is
COVID-19! Yes, that word that has blighted the world and basically
shut it down in a flash. We were incredibly lucky to be able to put on
Farm Expo at the beginning of March before lockdown came in, but
unfortunately this was the last show that KCAS could run in 2020.
Heritage Transport Show, Living Land, the Kent County Show and
Biddenden Tractorfest all fell foul to the pandemic and had to be
cancelled, with great disappointment to all involved.
"I would like to thank everyone involved in KCAS."
The Kent Event Centre has stayed open after the first lockdown, with
a few conferences and events going on. The site had been made
COVID-19 secure and when customers came to the Event Centre they
were incredibly happy with what they saw. Antiques Fair, Paws in
the Park and the Wedding Experience were held which all help with
income. With commercial events and Society events being cancelled,
sadly we have had to issue lots of refunds, which is always demoralising
and hard for all involved.
This year also saw the sale of Oak View Caravan Park, which is now
under the new ownership of D Body Holdings Ltd. This was a decision
made by the Board as it had not been making money for a number of
years. We wish Danny all the best with his new venture.
At the AGM in February, Lord Colgrain stepped down as the Society’s
President. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all
his support to myself and the Society over the four years in the role.
William Boscawen was elected as the new President of KCAS. William
is Lord Falmouth’s grandson and runs the successful local winery
Mereworth Wines and Marourde meads- I can highly recommend the
wine and mead produced by William and the team.
With all that was going on due to the pandemic, the Board had to
put a plan together to keep the Society going for another 90+ years.
The Board decided to restructure, never an easy thing to do but we
had to reduce costs. Unfortunately, we had to make some of the
staff redundant, a difficult decision for all involved. Jeremy Sutton,
Alison Wallington, Jamie Sutton, Maria Gilbert, Brenda Miller and
Bridget Seager have now left the Society, I would like to thank them
for their time at KCAS and to wish them all the best for the future,
and hope they will still pop in and say hello from time to time.
Rosie Gouldsworthy and Meghan Rice-Wilson also left us this year
for pastures new and Amy Marsh left to spend more time with her
daughter. We wish them all the best in their new ventures.
With the restructure came new roles. Lucy Hegarty is now Deputy
General Manager and Show Secretary. The events team is now led
by Ellie Pannell as Events Team Leader, with Becky Withey as Events
Assistant and Mary Welch as Hospitality Coordinator. The sales and
marketing team has Becky Parrock as Marketing Coordinator, and
Ashleigh Wilday and Sally Higgins as Business Development and Sales
Coordinators. Trevor Bristow leads the facilities team with Colin Willis
as groundsman. Jo Watson and Rebecca Callow continue as Executive
PA and Accounts Manager respectively. The restructure and new roles
give the Society an experienced and knowledgeable team that can take
us forward and work as one, for the future of KCAS.
In January, Lucy will be going on maternity leave as her baby is due in
early February, I would like to wish Lucy and Al all my best for when
their new baby arrives. Good luck with the sleepless nights!!!
This has not been the easiest report to do this year and I apologise if
it’s a bit gloomy, but I have tried to stay as positive as I can in this new
world that we find ourselves in. As Chairman of this great Society,
I hope wholeheartedly that we have a better year in 2021, and that
we can again run a Society and Event Centre and make it the best in
the southeast. This year has been a struggle for all involved and it has
taken its toll on many of us. We have got to be positive now and start
to look forward and grab every opportunity we can get!
I would just like to thank everyone involved with KCAS and everything
that happens at the Showground- without all your support and time,
we could not do what we do. The support from the staff and the board
has been fantastic and I could not have done it without every single
one of them.
2021 will be a new year- lets hit it
head on and make it the best in
the Society’s history!
Once again, thank you all.
DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER'S REPORT
DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER'S REPORT
"Despite all the cancellations, we
managed to hold a few small Society
events which raised vital funds."
2020 has been a year of change, adaption, working from home
and learning new technology. Despite all the changes and constant
uncertainty, I’d like to start my report by thanking the staff team.
Their resilience in the face of a completely unexpected and unpredictable
pandemic has been outstanding. As always, we have pulled together to
achieve as much as we could in incredibly difficult circumstances.
Despite the pandemic looming, at the start of March we held Farm
Expo. The event attracted many agricultural machinery dealers and
service providers and once again, became the meeting ground for
friends and colleagues offering a fantastic networking opportunity.
For 2021, we will be holding this a little later than normal on
Wednesday 21 April.
Our next event should have been the Heritage Transport Show. Whilst
we now understand the far reaching consequences of COVID-19, at the
time, we thought it would only be the Heritage Transport Show that
we would have to cancel as it fell within the first period of lockdown.
Sadly, as time went on, we realised that the Living Land and Biddenden
Tractorfest could also not be held in 2020.
James Forknall and I were really hoping we wouldn’t have to cancel
the Kent County Show but in a very short time we realised it wouldn’t
be feasible to continue planning it under the restrictions we were put
into. Together with not knowing what restrictions we may be faced
with in July, we sadly made the difficult decision to cancel the Show
for the first time since the Second World War. As we start to plan for
2021, we should all be prepared that the Kent County Show could
look very different to what we are used to, however we look forward
to seeing everyone there.
Despite all the cancellations, we managed to hold a few small Society
events which raised vital funds and provided an opportunity for some
of the staff, volunteers and exhibitors to get together and celebrate on
the weekends which should have seen the 2020 Kent County Show and
The Kent Event Centre has continued to support the Society. Despite
the situation, we have still had some exciting events and conferences
which you can read about in this report. We continue to get excellent
feedback and I would urge you to suggest the Kent Event Centre for
anyone looking for a meeting, conference or event venue. We can
provide socially distanced events for almost any size of function.
Our education programme has continued, with two new scholars
joining the Kent Rural Scholars this year. Two of our first scholars
graduated this year, having completed placements last year and
I would like to take this opportunity in congratulating Zac Scott
and Jacob Taylor.
At first glance, 2020 is a year we would all like to forget, however with
2021 being the year of recovery and 2022 the year of celebration, we
have plenty to look forward to. In 2023, the Kent County Agricultural
Society will celebrate its 100th anniversary when we all hope we will
be back to full strength.
KENT COUNTY SHOW GOES ON
The agricultural show industry provides so much more than just a day of entertainment. Research by the Association of Show and Agricultural
Organisations (ASAO) demonstrated that each show provides vital economic and charitable support in their local communities. This year has been
a terrible year for the industry but we are committed to returning to full strength so we can continue supporting our local community in Kent.
Despite sadly having to cancel the Kent County
Show this year, we were determined to mark
the Show weekend in some way. To celebrate
the occasion, we took the Show online and
asked our community to share their favourite
memories of shows gone by in a series we
called #KentShowGoesOn. We were also able
to 10,11,12 hold some JULY smaller 2020events to bring back the spirit of the Kent County
Show for 2020. We would like to thank everyone who took part and
helped us demonstrate that the Kent County Show goes on.
Karl Rhodes @karlrhodes
“I’m missing not being there today.
First one I’ve missed in forever”
Alison Hayes @alisonhayes
“Sooooo missing the show this year”
income of £128.6m
£145m to charity
In 2019, shows
In 2019, shows
full time staff
shows had a
combined loss of
£36.5m caused by
not running this
year had a wider
Romney Marsh Wools
The Kent County Agricultural Society aims to achieve:
• The improvement of agriculture, forestry, horticulture, allied
industries, rural crafts and the breeding of livestock.
• The demonstration of improved methods and processes connected
with the above.
• The holding of an Annual Show for the exhibition of livestock,
farm produce, horticulture produce, machinery, implements, tools,
appliances, utensils, animal feeding stuff, fertilisers, seeds and other
things connected with or appertaining to agriculture.
• The encouragement of agricultural and horticultural education,
research and experimental work by publications, grants or
• To promote such other charitable purposes as the Company may
from time to time determine.
“A little throwback as part of #KentShowGoesOn. This weekend we
would normally have a stand with Produced in Kent for the Kent
County Show, but as the show is not able to go ahead this year,
here are a couple of our best memories from past years at the
show - winning Best Trade Stand in 2018 and being awarded both a
first and champion for our fleece last year!
It’s always a pleasure to be part of such an important event in the
Kent farming calendar and we are looking forward to returning
next year ”
My ultimate memory from Kent County Show is winning Supreme
Sheep Champion in 2016 with Wrotham Barbara!
Kent County Show has so much to see and do; showcasing the
very best of Kent agriculture, produce, craft and traditions and
something about the surroundings and the vibe of the show
means it is one of my favourites!
Even though this year the show field sits empty because of
coronavirus; #KentShowGoesOn and I know everyone can’t wait
to get back in the show rings next year. I’m sure Kent County Show
2021 will be one to remember!”
KENT COUNTY SHOW GOES ON
KENT COUNTY SHOW GOES ON
IoD Business Breakfast
The IoD Business Breakfast has become a tradition for the Kent County
Show, and this tradition did not let COVID-19 get in its way.
This year, the breakfast went virtual to discuss the challenges facing the
agricultural industry and how we can support it.
The speakers included William White from the NFU, James Forknall,
Chairman of the Kent County Agricultural Society, Mike Whiting, cabinet
member for economic development, and Edwin Morgan, Head of Policy
for the IoD. The range of speakers gave an interesting discussion on the
Agriculture Bill, the challenges COVID-19 has posed to food production,
and the growing support for buying local.
The panel were then joined by Carol Ford from Fresh Food Industry
Expert, Julian Barnes from Biddenden Vineyards, and Paul Knights from
Produce Plus for a lively Q&A session. We would like to thank the IoD
for helping us mark the Show weekend with one of our favourite Kent
BHS Pleasure Ride
Riders were in
small groups and
timed to ensure
Sunday 12 July started bright and sunny. Some would have said it was
perfect show day weather! Again, a small part of the Kent County Show
came together in way that had not been done before. Working with the
British Horse Society, 104 riders took part in a pleasure ride around the
car parks, through the woodland and across the Showground. Riders
were in small groups and timed to ensure social distancing, meaning
that there was plenty of space for both experienced riders and those
with less experience.
For many it was one of the first times they had taken their horses
out since March and it was lovely to see them taking a leisurely stroll,
enjoying the beautiful countryside we are lucky enough to have
surrounding the Showground.
The ride finished in the Astor Ring where they were given a rosette and
photographs were taken. Many of the riders would not have had the
experience of going into the Astor Ring at the Kent County Show and it
was enjoyed by all who attended. We must thank Nick Bolas for donning
his suit and bowler hat to distribute the rosettes, the team of volunteer
stewards who marshalled the route and Tim Brier and his team at the
British Horse Society for organising the ride. Once again vital funds were
raised for the Society at a much-needed time.
The volunteers who help organise the Heritage Section of the Kent
County Show and the Heritage Transport Show are always keen to
find new ways to raise vital funds for the Society and this year was no
different. COVID-19 meant that the usual 400 plus vehicles could not
be on display at the Kent County Show, instead about 30 vintage and
classic tractors gathered at the Showground before taking part in one
of two short tractor run routes. One route turned right at Entrance 6,
running down the lanes away from the A249 and the other an internal
route around the Showground and car parks, exploring parts which
many of the exhibitors had not seen before.
There was a good display of Ford and Fordson tractors including a 1962
Fordson Super Dexta, 1957 Ferguson 35 grey and gold diesel and a 1959
Fordson Power Major. These were joined by tractors such as the Massey
Ferguson 65 Mk2 and the Massey Ferguson 135.
After about an hour, all vehicles returned to the Showground where
refreshments were waiting. It was fantastic to see the vintage vehicles
on site during what should have been Show weekend. We thank Rodney
Gibson for organising the run and the exhibitors for their support in
coming together and raising money for the Society.
There was a good
display of Ford and
Looking back on the year, it feels like we
were lucky to squeeze in our second Farm
Expo before COVID-19 took a hold. At the
time of Farm Expo most of the conversations
around the virus were jokes about whether
we should shake hands with each other.
Despite the looming pandemic, Farm Expo
enjoyed a successful second show. We were
so pleased to host an increased number
of trade stands from the previous year,
a sign that traders had confidence in the
opportunities Farm Expo could provide. Our visitor numbers remained
at 2500, a great turnout for our growing show.
Farm Expo proved itself again to be a strong platform for showcasing
industry developments. We were so excited that SJ Barnes would be
unveiling their mechanical harvester at Farm Expo, something that was
kept a strong secret until show day. The launch made SJ Barnes the first
UK based contractor to offer mechanical grape harvesting and we were
delighted to be able to host the company for this exciting launch.
Back in the Autumn of 2019, in a time
before the word ‘covid’ existed in
our everyday vocabulary, we were
honoured to start working with many
of the volunteers behind Biddenden
Tractorfest. It was agreed that the
Society would help support them
in running the 2020 event, offering
our professional event organisation
experience working alongside their
knowledge of the event they had
built from nothing in eight years.
Despite COVID-19, the volunteers came together to celebrate what
should have been the Biddenden Tractorfest weekend. On Saturday
15 August, two vehicle runs took place leaving Biddenden Vineyards,
travelling through Tenterden, Biddenden and the surrounding
area. Tractors led the way in the morning with cars following in the
afternoon. On both runs it was wonderful to see people waving and
smiling as the vehicles went past.
As well as providing a platform for sharing industry news and
developments, Farm Expo also allows for networking and sharing ideas.
Our seminar series and Agri-Connect breakfast did just that, allowing
visitors a chance to connect and learn more about the latest issues in
agriculture. Our headline seminar welcomed Phil Jarvis, chair of the
NFU Environment Forum, Rob Yorke, rural commentator and chartered
surveyor, and Mario Caccamo, managing director of NIAB EMR, to
discuss ‘Future Farming – The Next Ten Years.’ The panel brought a
diverse range of expertise to discuss what farming and agriculture can
expect in the next decade including the NFU’s Net Zero pledge.
Caroline Hopkins, along with volunteers from the Rockit Choir who
would have been running the music stage at Biddenden Tractorfest
decided that despite not being allowed to gather together to sing, that
they had to do something to mark the weekend. After much practicing
and filming of individual sections, Grease the Musical was formed.
This was shown on a large screen in Tenterden Recreation Ground.
The team collected change for NHS Charities Together, raising an
Farmers also had the opportunity to hear expert advice on diversification.
Charles Trotman from the CLA, Lee May, a partner at Brachers, and
Kristina Boulden, director at Romney Marsh Wools, spoke on why
diversification is becoming increasingly important. The seminar covered
what to consider when starting a diversification project and gave advise
on diversifying farm businesses.
As the second Farm Expo came to an end, it was clear it had been
another success both in visitor and trade numbers but also in engaging
the farming community to discuss the issues and developments of the
day. The Society looks forward to the return of Farm Expo at the slightly
later date of 21 April 2021.
“A great event for meeting farming peers
and local trade associated businesses all
under one roof in a slack time of year”
David CL Photography
David CL Photography
KENT RURAL SCHOLARS
KENT RURAL SCHOLARS
Current Kent Rural Scholars
Kent Rural Scholars
We were delighted to welcome two new students to
our scholarship scheme this year. Morgan Tasker from
Maidstone, studied for an extended diploma in agriculture
at Hadlow College and has recently started at Writtle
University to study Agriculture (Regenerative Systems and
Livestock). The course is the first of its kind in the UK and
has been introduced to reflect the changing direction of the
agricultural industry to include conservation and climate
smart agriculture, agro-ecology, carbon farming, technology
use, and integrated management practices.
Alice Edmonds, also from Maidstone, has started studying
Food Marketing with Business Economics at the University
of Reading. She decided to pursue a career in agriculture
after joining New Line Learning Young Farmers Club and
working for Paul and Clare Burden at Friningham Farm
during her free time.
Morgan and Alice join our current students to form the
Kent Rural Scholars.
Briony Balcombe Animal Science Writtle University College
Toby Dingle Agriculture Harper Adams University
Hamish Elliott Agriculture and Farm Management Royal Agricultural University
Georgina Francesconi Agriculture Nottingham University
Guillaume Franklin Agriculture Harper Adams University
Hannah Mackenzie Animal Therapy Writtle University College
Henry Overy Agriculture Newcastle University
Ben Read Agriculture Harper Adams University
Clio Rudgard Redsell Veterinary Medicine Nottingham University
Alice Edmonds Food Marketing with Business Economics University of Reading
Morgan Tasker Agriculture Writtle University College
Agriculture (Regenerative Systems
and Livestock) at Writtle University College
University under this year’s circumstances
has been interesting to say the least.
Getting used to the new rules and
regulations in place due to COVID-19 was
a challenge at first but we, as a year group,
have been resilient and helped to control
the spread of the virus. Freshers week and
other social activities were impacted but
I believe we made the most of what we
had, and I have enjoyed the friendships
I have built with people from all over our campus. Despite these
implications, a fellow classmate and I managed to set up a clay pigeon
shooting society which will help people to unwind and come together.
Meeting my classmates for the first time was interesting as the group
has very mixed backgrounds and contains several international
students. This has been a very eye-opening experience and by
understanding how agriculture in places like Zambia and Turkey
differs from the UK, I feel I have broadened my knowledge and
learned different farming methods from my peers outside of lectures.
I have recently acquired a job on the Writtle University Farm which
has allowed me to develop and maintain my practical skills alongside
the theory work I am doing, which I believe is extremely important.
The farm is mainly livestock, which is my preferred side, so I have
loved working outdoors and being able to burn off all the excess
energy I have from staying indoors for online lectures.
All the lecturers and university staff have worked extremely hard to
provide us with a safe environment to learn in whilst making sure we
have a great University experience and for this I am very grateful.
I look forward to the coming years at Writtle University College and
am optimistically awaiting the days when the virus is long behind us
and we can get back to normal life.
Food Marketing with Business Economics
University of Reading
I am currently in week nine of my first term
studying BSc Food Marketing with Business
Economics, here at the University of Reading.
To date, it has been a great success and very
enjoyable despite the current climate. I have
found my course rather diverse- which has
kept me interested. It allows me to undertake
modules about the UK food chain, agriculture
in practice, international development,
as well as introductions to business and
economical related content.
What I have found most enjoyable is attending the field trips to
various different farming practices, as well as learning about the
transition from intensive agriculture to a more regenerative approach.
I have also become a member of the agricultural society, which has
provided a great sociable aspect to university life allowed settling in to
be easy, as I was able to connect with likeminded people.
Overall, I have really enjoyed my first term at university, I have settled
in rather well into the halls of residence and have made some great
friends through both my course and the agricultural society. I am
excited to begin some new modules next term, and happy to have
completed most of my exams for this term. I am incredibly thankful
for the scholarship from the Kent County Agricultural Society and look
forward to the opportunities that it will bring!
Congratulations to Zac Scott and Jacob Taylor, two of our first Kent Rural Scholars, who both graduated in 2020.
Zac achieved a 2:1 in BSc (Hons) Agriculture from Harper Adams University and Jacob graduated with a first in
Forestry Management from University of Cumbria. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours.
KENT EVENT CENTRE
"The pandemic meant we had to adapt
quickly so we put measures in place
to ensure we could create a flexible
COVID-19 secure event space."
Kent Event Centre
Kent Event Centre has experienced a rollercoaster year and the
COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges for us and the events
industry. The year started off with us holding many events including
the Construction Show, National Fruit Show and Build it Live to
name a few. Conferences were also doing well, some included Avon
Cosmetics Roadshow, Swale Business Awards, as well as NHS and
Kent County Council.
We also continued to score highly on our customer feedback forms
with some excellent testimonials. As a team we pride ourselves in going
above and beyond for our customers and this brings repeat business.
The pandemic meant we had to adapt quickly so we put measures in
place to ensure we could create a flexible COVID-19 secure event space
for our customers. Our larger spaces are ideal for running safe, socially
distanced meetings and conferences, and we increased signage across
site to remind visitors to follow government guidelines. Newly installed
hand sanitising facilities in reception areas and arrival points allows
visitors to keep their hands clean, and we carry out enhanced daily
deep cleaning of all the main common areas and conference rooms.
Whilst we have put these measures in place to ensure everyone’s
safety, we understand in these current circumstances that many people
are not comfortable with face to face meetings. Therefore, we are
now able to offer a fully interactive hybrid meeting provision in our
conference rooms. This service has enabled us to reach out to many
conference clients including the emergency services.
We saw an increase in filming enquiries this year. In July we had Terrific
TV come to film the revived children’s TV show HOW; an educational
science programme. It is being shown on ITV and CITV on Sunday
mornings. Currently, we also have a production company filming a
3-part detective series onsite which is very exciting.
From July through to September we accommodated some successful
COVID-19 secure markets including the Antiques Fair, The Wedding
Experience and Paws in the Park. In addition, we introduced some new
events including a horse show and a drive-in cinema.
We look forward to the rest of the
year which brings us a Christmas Drive
in Cinema and a Winter Wonderland
drive in experience. To keep updated
on our forthcoming events please
look at our ‘What’s On’ page on our
KENT EVENT CENTRE
Thank you for all your support again
over this turbulent year and we look
forward to reporting on a much more
encouraging year in 2021.
KENT EVENT CENTRE - GOOD TO GO
KENT EVENT CENTRE - TESTIMONIALS
As soon as we were able to start
running events again, we did not waste
anytime in getting ourselves ready to
hold COVID secure events. One of our
first was The Wedding Experience
For the events and conferences we were able
to hold, the Kent Event Centre continued to
receive good feedback. These positive reports
demonstrate our team's ability to provide a
professional and quality service.
Tina Green, Event Organiser:
“The mission was to provide a totally safe environment in line with
government guidance and Alison Wallington liaised with all relevant
authorities to ascertain how The Wedding Experience could proceed.
Alison’s dedication in navigating constant challenges enabled the
event to proceed and we were able to meet new criteria as the
COVID-19 situation evolved. The safety measures demonstrated at
the August event allowed us to proceed again in October.”
What was different to normal:
• We had to change the format of the event to an indoor market to
allow us to run in line with guidance.
• We had to reduce the features of the event that usually draw a
crowd. This meant no fashion show, guest hosts, competitions,
creche, or live music.
• We had a revised layout that spaced supplier stands further apart
and allowed more room for family or couple bubbles to walk
What was new:
• Each supplier stand had a dedicated zone that could fit one family
bubble at a time to reduce crowding around stands.
• Temperature checks were used for exhibitors on each set up and
event day, and visitors had checks upon arrival.
• Face masks were mandatory for all and numerous sanitising
stations were placed throughout the buildings for easy access.
Thank you to all the team! The Wedding Experience
was great and we felt safe the whole time. Every
stand was well spaced out and we didn’t feel like
we were crowded at any time. I'll definitely be
visiting The Wedding Experience again! Visitor
I highly recommend The Wedding Experience to
showcase your wedding business. I’m a regular
with The Wedding Experience and was totally at
ease with the level of detail and thought put into
creating a COVID-safe event. The stall spacing,
one-way route, everyone required to wear a face
covering, hand sanitiser stations. Honestly, we all
felt safe and it was great to be back doing what we
love, helping our beautiful brides plan their bridal
makeup and hair. Exhibitor
“The staff were very helpful and when our own water boiler broke
down, provided us with hot water flasks which saved the day!
The communication from your staff throughout the day was perfect.
Thank you so much”
The Education People
“Thank you, we really enjoy working here because we are so looked
after, equipment and facilities are of a very high standard and you
have good parking which is good for our delegates”
“You have been, as ever amazing! Thank you for your help,
engagement and friendliness. When I learn that the training is here,
it’s a joy. Thank you”
Trading Standards South East Ltd
“Your team were totally professional and nothing was too much
trouble. You were so supportive with all the planning leading up to
the event and key to the smooth running on the day, we couldn’t
have done it without you”
Medway NHS Foundation Trust
“Just wanted to thank you again for a really great day for our
Trust Board Development session. The entire team had a great day.
We were delighted with the entire day. The venue was perfect and
really worked well as far as safety for social distancing.
The range of refreshments was brilliant – really enjoyed the selection
of drinks and biscuits. Lunch was lovely – everyone enjoyed it and it
was a nice change from sandwiches!
Your staff were nothing but helpful and all had a smile on their faces
"Your team were
and nothing was too
• Exhibitors and visitors were provided with their own COVID-Secure
documents so everyone knew their personal responsibilities for a
Kent Fire and Rescue
“It went well thank you! The room set up and refreshments were
great. Thank you for all of your support with the event.”
NEW SOCIETY PRESIDENT
THANKS AND RECOGNITION
Welcome To Our New Society President
In February 2020, we were delighted to welcome a new president for
the Kent County Agricultural Society. William Boscawen takes over from
The Lord Colgrain who we thank for four years of service to the Society.
The Boscawen family have been farming the fields around Mereworth
for over 250 years. During this time, their hops, apples, and grapes
have gone into many of the country’s finest beers, ciders, and wines
such that delicious drinks have become a bit of a family legacy.
It is to these roots that William Boscawen returned after a career in
marketing and finance. From starting a winery in a garage, William
planted his first vineyard in Wateringbury in 2016 with a variety of
grapes. A combination of ideal location and blood, sweat, and tears
saw his first vintage released in 2018.
After his success in wine, William decided to get to work reinventing
the world’s oldest drink. Mead is typically sweet and syrupy but
William’s version has an added fizz to bring the old drink into the
modern age. A year after its reinvention, William’s mead won Kent’s
Food Product and Kent Specialist Drink of the Year, a stamp of
approval for his reinvented beverage.
As the grandson of Lord Falmouth, a previous chairman and president
of the Society, we could not think of a better match for the role. We
look forward to welcoming William to his new role with us.
William Boscawen takes over from
The Lord Colgrain who we thank for
four years of service to the Society.
FAREWELL TO JOHN JENNINGS
We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of John Jennings in
November. John was an integral part of the Kent County Agricultural
Society since he joined us in 1964 as a cattle exhibitor.
Since then, John served as Chief Livestock Steward, Vice-Chairman,
and then Chairman, a role he enjoyed from 1992 to 2003. It was during
John's time in office that the Falmouth Lecture, President's Award and
Stewards’ Supper were all introduced, all traditions we continue with to
John loved the Kent County Show and the Society and devoted so much
of his time to us over the years. He always greeted people with a smile,
and he will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.
THIS YEAR'S AWARDS
Colin Hosmer receives his Long Service Award
At his last AGM as President, The Lord Colgrain was delighted to
present the President’s Award to Eryl Davies and the Vice-President’s
Award to Charles Tassell.
The President’s Award was presented to Eryl for his hard work and
continuous service to the Society as our honorary veterinary officer
over many years.
Charles Tassell received the Vice-President’s Award for his service to the
Society and its Board of Directors, and his knowledge of the Showground
traffic system which has proved invaluable time and time again.
The Long Service Award was presented to Colin Hosmer for fifty years
of service to the Kent County Agricultural Society as a cattle steward
at the Kent County Show. Colin has been a great ambassador for the
Show over his fifty years of service.
Eryl, Colin, and Charles all do so much to support the Society and we
would like to thank them for their service.
THANKS TO SPONSORS
We would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support during
this unusual year. Now more than ever, your support is needed so that
we can continue to deliver our important charitable work.
"The KCAS team were able
to tailor our sponsorship
package to enable us to
get the most from it."
We are happy to discuss ways both
companies and individuals can support
the Kent County Agricultural Society.
Contact us in the Show Office for
• Nick Allan
• Kevin Attwood
• Heselwood Audio Visual
• Lady Kingsdown
• National Farmers’ Union
• Charles S Tassell
Presidents and Deputy Presidents - Past and Present
1923 The Right Honourable The Earl Of Darnley, CA, JP, DL
1924-1925 R Bruce Ward
1926 Capt J I H Friend, OBE, MC, JP, DL
1927 The Right Honourable Lord Sackville, CBE, JP, DL
1928-1929 The Right Honourable The Earl Of Radnor, KG, KCVO
1930 The Right Honourable Sir Philip Sassoon, Bart, PC, MP
1931 Major G Wheler, MC
1932 Col The Right Honourable Lord Cornwallis CBE, JP, DL
1933 The Right Honourable Lord Plender, CBE, LLD, JP
1934-1935 R Bruce Ward
1936-1937 W K Whigham, JP
1938 The Right Honourable The Earl Of Radnor, KG, KCVO
1939 C Tuff, DL, JP, (Sir Charles Tuff)
1947-1981 The Right Honourable Lord Cornwallis, KCVO, KBE, MC
1947-1965 Sir Edward Hardy (Deputy President)
1966-1971 Sir Leslie Doubleday JP (Deputy President)
1981-1982 Irene Lady Astor of Hever
1983-1985 The Right Honourable Robin Leigh-Pemberton
1984-1985 The Right Honourable Viscount Falmouth
1986-2001 The Right Honourable Viscount Falmouth
1995-2001 The Right Honourable Lord Kingsdown, KG
2002-2004 The Right Honourable Lord Kingsdown, KG
2005-2010 Lord Astor Of Hever, DL
2011-2014 Lady Astor Of Hever
2015-2019 The Lord Colgrain, DL
2020- William Boscawen
Non-Voting Invited Representatives
High Sheriff of Kent
Kent County Council
Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies
Mrs L Pamphilon
Mrs R E Millwater
Chairmen - Past and Present
1923 The Right Honourable The Earl of Guilford, JP, DL
1924-1926 Col The Right Honourable Lord Cornwallis, CBE, JP, DL
1927-1935 R Bruce Ward
1936-1954 Major J I H Friend, OBE, MC, JP, DL
1955-1962 Sir Leslie Doubleday, JP
1963-1969 George R Stevens, JP
1970-1983 The Right Honourable Viscount Falmouth
1984-1991 Edward St J Brice, DL
1992- 2002 C John Jennings, MBE, JP, DL
2003-2006 W Mckeever
2007-2012 G E Jessel, DL
2013-2019 K Attwood
2019- J Forknall
Honorary Life Governors
The Right Honourable Viscount Falmouth
Mrs M F Merryfield Day
G E Jessel, DL
The Right Honourable Lord Astor of Hever, DL
Lady Astor of Hever
Mayor of Maidstone
Maidstone Borough Council
National Farmers' Union Kent Chairman
Young Farmers' Clubs
Honorary Veterinary Surgeon
Cllr M Ring
Mrs A Broom
E Davies MRCVS
Reverend C Hodgkins
1972 The Right Honourable
1986 E H Parker
1986 Mrs J Clark-Hall
1987 C J Jennings, MBE, JP, DL
1988 Mrs E M Brice
1992 R Birch
1992 P B Wright
1993 C T Marsh, BME
1994 W Mather
1994 P A Mummery
Retire January 2021
Mrs M Anthony
Mrs P Conibeer
E G Doubleday
Miss G Hickmott*
C A Hyde
Mrs H Langrish
Miss L Martin
Mrs A Rillie
Mrs E Steed
C S Tassell*
Dr D E Wiggins
* Denotes current director
1996 J R Stevens
1996 Miss M Tyrrel
1998 M Chamberlain
1999 R T Maylam
2000 W Day
2004 D Horner, DL
2006 G Jessel, DL
2007 E D Chantler
2007 K Moule
2011 Mrs S Pretty
2012 N Allan, JP
Retire January 2022
E Davies MRCVS
Mrs R Fox
Mrs F Friday
Mrs C Joules
Mrs S Matthews*
Mrs A Tydeman
Mrs L West
2012 M Crawley
2013 A Curwen
2014 D Underwood
2015 T Whitehead
2016 Mrs R Day
2017 G Charlton
2017 B Pike
2018 Mrs M Anthony
2019 T Cathcart
2020 Charles Tassell
Patron: HRH The Duke of Kent, KG President: William Boscawen Chairman of Council: James Forknall
Vice Chairman of Council: Julian Barnes
Hon. Finance Director: Hugh Summerfield
Retire January 2023
Mrs A Corp
Mrs A Cottrell
Mrs S Fuller
Mrs A Moon
Mrs D Steele
Mrs V Eames
KENT COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY
(A Private Company Limited by Guarantee) (“the Company”)
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Kent County Agricultural Society will be held on Friday 12 February 2021 at
10.30am via zoom.
1. Notice to convene the meeting.
2. To receive apologies for absence.
3. To approve the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Friday 14 February 2020.
4. To receive a report from the Chairman.
5. To receive and adopt the Honorary Finance Director’s Report and Statement of Accounts for the period ended 30 September 2020.
To present the budget for year ending September 2021.
6. To elect the President of the Company.
(a) To propose a vote of thanks to the President of the Company for his services during the past year and re-elect the President for a further year.
7. To elect the Directors in place of those retiring in accordance with Article 4.3:
(a) The current Chairman’s term of office runs until the 2022 AGM.
(b) The current Vice-Chairman’s term of office runs to the 2022 AGM.
(c) The current Honorary Finance Director runs until the 2023 AGM.
(d) To elect one third (i.e. 2 directors) in place of those retiring for a term of three years.
(e) To elect the co-opted directors for one year.
8. To elect the Members of the Council in place of those retiring in accordance with Article 16:
(a) To elect one-third (i.e. 20 members) of the Council to serve on the Council for the next three years.
(b) To co-opt additional members of Council.
9. To appoint Auditors.
10. To authorise the Directors to fix the remuneration of the Auditors.
11. To consider any other ordinary business.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
A Member entitled to attend and vote at this meeting is entitled to appoint one or more proxies to attend and vote in his place. A proxy
need not be a Member of the Company.
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Friday
15 February 2019 at 10.30am in the
Astor Pavilion, Kent Showground, Detling
The Chairman James Forknall welcomed members to The Annual
General Meeting 2019 of the Kent County Agricultural Society and
asked anyone who had not yet signed the signature book to sign before
1. Notice to convene the meeting
Notice was hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Kent
County Agricultural Society was being held on Friday 14 February 2020
at 10.30am in the Astor Pavilion, Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone,
Kent, ME14 3JF.
2. To receive apologies for absence
Apologies for absence had been received from Mr T Broadrick, Mr T
Cathcart, Mrs P Conibeer, Mrs A Cottrell, Mr M Crawley, Mr E Davies,
Mr W Day, Mr S Fuller, Mr R Foreman, Mr P Goldsmith, Mr C Livett,
Mr N Morris, Mr P Mummery, Mr D Steed, Mrs E Steed, Mr D Stephens,
Mrs M Tyrell and Mr D Wiggins.
James Forknall reported that Mark Lumsdon-Taylor had reached
the end of his term as a Director on the Board for the Kent County
Agricultural Society in June 2019 and thanked him for his service.
3. To approve the minutes of the Annual General Meeting
held on Friday 15 February 2019.
The adoption of the minutes were proposed by Paul Anthony and
seconded by Ralph Stevens. Following a show of hands, the minutes of the
meeting on 15 February 2019 were signed as a true and correct record.
4. To receive a report from the Chairman
James Forknall reported he had a busy and interesting year as his
first as Chairman of Kent County Agricultural Society. He reported
the Society had been discussing various options for the future of
the Oakview Caravan Park following its closure earlier this year. He
also reported Quinn Estates were still in discussion regarding the
development next to the Kent Showground site. He reported this was
included in the Maidstone Borough Council plan and Quinn Estates
were awaiting approval from them. James Forknall also reported that
the Board had agreed to delay the start of work on the proposed new
building at Entrance 4 due to financial reasons.
Farm Expo 2020: The event would be held on 4th March 2020. James
Forknall reported over one hundred trade stands were booked to date
and amongst those were new stands from Graham Heath Construction,
Martin Lishman Crop Storage, Cordex Agriculture, SJ Ag Wood Pallets
and many other equine and engineering services. Sponsorship for
the event so far was from Brachers, Oak Creative and BASF. Two
seminars were planned for the event. The first was to hear about ‘The
Future of Farming, The Next Ten Years’ from three speakers: Phil Jarvis
(NFU representative), Rob Yorke (Rural communicator and Chartered
Surveyor) and Mario Caccamo (Director of NIAB at East Malling
Research). The second seminar would be regarding ‘Diversification’
and the speakers would be Dr Charles Trottman (Senior Rural Business
Advisor for the CLA) and Lee May (partner at Barclays), they would be
joined by a farmer talking about his experiences of diversification too.
Heritage Transport Show 2020: The event would be held on 4th April
2020 and would celebrate the 10th anniversary of the South East Bus
Festival. To date there were four hundred and fifteen vehicle entries
booked in and sponsorship was from Cherished Car Insurance.
Living Land 2020: James Forknall reported this event would be held on
7th May 2020 and asked for any volunteers willing to help on the day
to let the Show Office know as they were always needed. The event
was fully booked with 55 schools across Kent attending, totalling 2790
school children. All exhibitors were confirmed for the event, amongst
them Biddenden Vineyards, Diocese of Canterbury, Kent Beekeepers,
UK Power Networks, Woodland Farm Trust, RNLI and various woodland
Kent County Show 2020: James Forknall stated the Kent County
Show would be held on 10th, 11th and 12th July 2020. The main ring
entertainment would be camel racing. There would be a new ‘Kids
Zone’ which would include a new act for the Show called Arbor the
Tree, a 17ft moving structure which would educate visitors on the
story of a lifecycle of a tree. The walking dinosaurs that had been at
previous Shows would also return. A band called the Dulcettes, a 40’s
style singing duo, would be entertaining visitors on the Bandstand,
along with all the usual entertainment. The equine section had been
allocated nearly all the Horse of The Year Show qualifiers it had in
previous years, although the Show did not get the Lead Rein Hunter
Pony class. New classes for the Show would include Irish Draft, ROR
Horse Race Challenge, M&M Open Ridden and Foreign Breeds.
Timetables for these were being finalised. There would be considerable
changes to the ring layout and horse walk area for the safety of
competitors. James Forknall was happy to report the new Livestock
Chairman as David Stephens and thanked Terry Whitehead for all his
years of service. There would be new classes in Livestock this year
including Long Horn, Beef Short Horn and Aberdeen Angus classes
in the cattle section and Ryelands in the sheep classes. Many trade
stands were already booked in and there had been five applicants for
the Enterprise Zone for new businesses. James Forknall asked anyone
knowing of new businesses to let them know about the zone. New
trade stands booked included Barclays Bank, Brewin Dolphin, Battersea
Cats and Dogs, Royal British Legion amongst others and many trade
stands were returning again from previous years. The Garden Life
area would showcase a display entitled ’Under The Oak Tree’ from
Gillingham Horticulture Club to celebrate their 80th anniversary. The
Heritage section would have a crawler display. James Forknall reported
that the advertising campaign for the Kent County Show would feature
designs from Esther Johnson, who was previously part of the Enterprise
Zone. Esthers designers would feature exciting drawings showing many
aspects of the Show. Sponsorship confirmed to date was at £25,000
and the team were in talks with many new companies to increase this.
Biddenden Tractorfest: This was a new event for the Kent County
Agricultural Society which was previously run by volunteers who felt it
had grown too large for them without some professional support. The
event would be held on the previous Biddenden village site rather than
at the Showground. The Show team would run this with the help of
many of the previous volunteers. James Forknall stated this was a great
opportunity to tell a new audience about the Kent County Agricultural
Society being a charity and it’s work.
Society and Education: The Hooson Award had changed criteria to
allow recipients to attend seminars or conferences relating to their
studies or work. The Lady Astor Award was awarded to two students
Ollie Stow (Mount Lodge Young Farmers Club) and Nicola Godfrey
(Westlands Young Farmers Club) this year. James Forknall reported
£9000 worth of Young Farmers Club grants had been allocated to date.
He also reported the Kent Rural Scholars studies were going well and
they were all enjoying university. Kent County Agricultural Society had
sponsored an ‘Elmer the Elephant’ sculpture to help raise vital funds
for the Heart of Kent Hospice and help advertise the Society. There
would be approximately fifty of them around Maidstone town centre.
During the Kent County Show, the Society’s ‘Elmer’ would be moved to
outside the main gate entrance of the Showground for all to see.
Kent Event Centre: James Forknall reported the Kent Event Centre
had two hundred and eighteen conferences last year with three
hundred and twenty-one occupied days. Fifty-two events were held,
with a customer retention rate of ninety four percent. Events for the
first quarter included the National Fruit Show and the Kent Festival. A
last-minute booking was taken for Boris Johnson, Prime Minister for
part of his leadership campaign. The Kent Event Centre had taken over
£1.2 million pounds worth of bookings for 2020. New events included
Gin To My Tonic Festival, Rum and Reggae Live, Octoberfest and Tony
Tots Big Weekend. The staff have all been working towards becoming
a Dementia Friendly venue and have completed specific training.
It was commented that the Kent County Agricultural Society were
mindful of its heritage and with this in mind offer agricultural discounts
for conferences and meetings to appropriate companies, as well as
partnerships with Produced in Kent and Young Farmers Clubs. The
Kent Event Centre also work closely with the NHS Emergency Planning
department, Kent Police and the Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
James Forknall then asked if there were any questions. Terry
Whitehead asked what the financial cost of the Kent County
Agricultural Society taking on Biddenden Tractorfest and was there
any idea on what the financial gain from it could be. Julian Barnes,
Vice Chairman of Kent County Agricultural Society and Chairman of
the Biddenden Tractorfest committee stated it would be difficult to
work out the financial gain as it was the first year of the Society’s
involvement but stated as the event was already established it would
be good to build on and use the same service providers. Julian Barnes
stated the event was mainly run on volunteers and Kent County
Agricultural Society wished to continue using these. Julian Barnes
also stated he saw the main advantage of holding this event as an
opportunity to showcase what the Kent County Agricultural Society does.
Felicity Simpson congratulated the Kent County Agricultural Society on
being a great support for schools and how important it was to teach
them about forestry and learn about what farming does for this county.
She stated it was imperative trees were looked after and education
given on how to do this in schools was an advantage. James Forknall
thanked Felicity Simpson for her comments.
Douglas Horner asked if there would be an opportunity for modern
agricultural practices and technology to be at the Kent County Show
2020. Lucy Hegarty, Show Manager, reported that the team were
working towards putting this in the Show as a long-term plan as
the Society wanted to educate the public in all that was involved
in farming. James Forknall also stressed how important it was to
communicate with schools to show them modern technology and how
farmers now work.
5. To receive and adopt the Honorary Finance Director’s Report and
Statement of Accounts for the period ended 30 September 2019.
To present the Budget for year ending September 2020
Hugh Summerfield thanked members for coming to the AGM and
stated many people do not realise Kent County Agricultural Society
were a charity. He stated it was very important for everyone attending
the meeting to communicate this to others. Hugh Summerfield stated
intensity, energy and passion was shown in the Show Team office,
although this might not show in the figures. Hugh Summerfield stated
he would provide a summary of financial outturn, profit comparison
trends and forward budget.
Kent County Show 2019: The income from the Kent County Show was
£1,059,919 with direct costs of £944,334. Therefore, the contribution
to the Society was £115,585. Hugh Summerfield stated Lucy Hegarty
had a difficult job to balance admissions, maximise trade stand income
and sponsorship. These costs were all set against costs for marquees
and grandstands, fencing and furniture, equipment costs, security,
health and safety, heat, light, power, catering, prize money and
entertainment. Hugh Summerfield stated many of these costs were
£50,000 or more. Hugh Summerfield reiterated how important it was
for Society Members to tell everyone how great the Kent County Show
was and what value for money. The Kent County Agricultural Society
were challenging costs wherever possible to attempt to save money,
however running costs of the Show continue to increase.
Kent Event Centre 2019: This bought an income of £1,253,080 with
direct costs at £207,597 and general costs at £68,306. This produced
a contribution of £977,177. The income comprises of three elements
being hire of the site, covering bought in costs and contribution to the
use of Society’s equipment. Hugh Summerfield stated the team must
maximise occupancy days and it was imperative to keep standards up.
Costs also need to be constantly challenged to increase contributions.
Hugh Summerfield commented it was due to the hard work of the
team in the Show Office that generated this revenue and they should
be congratulated. He stated turnover was important, but the margin
was more important and making sure that there is an increased
Subscriptions: HJES stated increased membership is very important and
Kent County Agricultural Society were hoping to form a Membership
committee and welcomed any thoughts on how to improve our offering.
Society Events: The contribution from Farm Expo was £16,687 and
for Heritage Transport Show was £18,042. Living Land cost the Society
£22,790 bringing the net contribution for all of these events to
£12,105 which Hugh Summerfield stated was very pleasing. All these
events help to satisfy the Kent County Agricultural Society’s
Oak View Caravan Park: The income for 2019 was £56,288 and
expenditure was £31,361 with salaries at £44,315. Therefore, the total
deficit for the site in 2020 was £19,388. The Kent County Agricultural
Society had investigated every option to keep it open and increase
income. Hugh Summerfield confirmed Kent County Agricultural Society
had closed it for this year and would not be reopening it in the Spring.
Financially there was no alternative with the caravan site, however the
land could potentially be turned into another income generating venture.
Major costs: Staff costs were £548,129, with maintenance costs at
£211,768. Bank interest and charges were £80,738, depreciation
was £144,054 and administration £225,658 bringing the total to
£1,210,347. Hugh Summerfield stated although the land was given to
the Kent County Agricultural Society much free time was given to run it
and it is expensive to run on a day to day basis.
Charitable Activities: Hugh Summerfield confirmed the cost for the
Living Land was £22,790, rural scholars was £10,378, YFC Grants was
£4,650, awards £770 and Farming in the Classroom was £192.
Comparison Trends: Hugh Summerfield stated the overheads were
increasing along with capital repayments. Site investment also had to
be included in these figures. The Kent County Agricultural Society were
having an aggressive campaign to bring the Showground up to a better
standard and hoped those improvements could be seen with the help
of the Ground Team today.
Outcome at 30 September 2019: Due to the figures already discussed,
the Kent County Agricultural Society would be left with a deficit of
Kent County Show – Budget 2020: The income was budgeted
at £1,128,125 with direct costs of £1,008,700 which brings the
contribution to £119,425. Hugh Summerfield confirmed that this did
not take into account wages and bank fees.
Kent Event Centre – Budget 2020: The income was £1,475,000 and
expenditure was £522,540 with a contribution of £952,460 and also did
not include wages.
Other income – Budget 2020: Budget contributions from Farm Expo
£17,450, Heritage Transport Show £23,000, Living Land cost of £17,400
and other income £251,289 making total contribution to £274,339 and
with developments it was hoped to increase the contribution.
Major expenditure – Budget 2020: Staff costs £595,000, maintenance
costs £206,050, bank interest and charges £83,547, depreciation
£150,000 and administration £255,863 bringing the total to £1,290,460.
Surplus – Budget 2020: Kent County Show £119,425 and Kent Event
Centre was £952,460, other income was £274,339, major expenditure
£1,290,460 bringing a surplus of £55,764.
Hugh Summerfield asked if there were any questions. Eryl Davies asked
why the administration figure was included and wages were not. Hugh
Summerfield replied he felt the members needed full detail on salary
figures if all members were to help promote the charity. David Rolfe
questioned that £44,000 was a very high amount for a year’s salary
costs to run the Oak View Caravan Park. Hugh Summerfield confirmed
this was the total figure for staff costs. David Rolfe then asked how
much security costs would be to look after the Oak View Caravan site
and Hugh Summerfield confirmed it would cost approximately £5,000.
The budgeted surplus produced for 2020 was £55,764 which was
hoped would be more as the team were hoping to improve on every
aspect on income and expenditure.
Hugh Summerfield reiterated to Members that this was your charity
and the connection with agriculture needed to continue, be strong and
entice everyone to be involved. He also confirmed a fraud on the Kent
County Agricultural Society bank account was included in the figures.
He stated that the Society may be partially insured for the error but
due diligence from the staff and bank meant it was not more.
The adoption of the accounts were proposed by Kevin Attwood and
seconded by John Coultrip. Following a show of hands, the accounts
were agreed as a true and accurate record of the proceedings.
In a change to the agenda, James Forknall handed the chair to Lord
Colgrain for the Kent County Agricultural Society awards.
Lord Colgrain then presented the President’s Award 2019. This was
awarded to Eryl Davies for his hard work and many years of continuous
service to the Kent County Agricultural Society as Honorary Veterinary
Officer and member of the Council. Due to Eryl being on holiday, he
would be presented with the award at the Kent County Agricultural
Society Council meeting on 15th May 2020. A round of applause was
given for him.
Lord Colgrain then presented the Vice-Presidents Award to Charles Tassell.
Lord Colgrain stated Charles Tassell had been involved with the society for
many years as a steward and had been a Board member for eight years. He
had played a vital role in the Show especially everything traffic related.
Lord Colgrain also presented Mary Anthony with some flowers and a
photobook of her time as she was stepping down from her position as
Board Director. Mary had been a steward for forty two years and was
Kevin Attwood’s Vice Chairman and had served on the Board for ten
years. Mary would be very much missed by the Board of Directors.
Lord Colgrain presented Colin Hosmer with an award for fifty years of
service as the Kent County Show’s cattle steward. Colin had been a
great ambassador of the show over his fifty years service.
Lord Colgrain also welcomed Chris Hodgkins as the Kent County
Agricultural Society Honorary Chaplin and was dedicated to supporting
those working in rural business sectors in Kent.
Lord Colgrain then handed the chair of the meeting back to James Forknall.
6. To elect the President of the Company.
To propose a vote of thanks to the President of the Company for his
services during the past year and to elect a new President for 2020.
James Forknall thanked Lord Colgrain for his support and contribution
over the last four years and presented him with an Honorary Life
Governorship and engraved glass decanter. Lord Colgrain thanked
James Forknall and the Society and spoke of how lucky the Society
were to own their own Showground and how it was a great privilege to
have had the Duke of Kent at the 2019 Kent Show. Lord Colgrain said it
had been a great honour and privilege to have served as President.
James Forknall then proposed William Boscawen should be elected
as President for a year’s term. James Forknall reported that although
William had been brought up in Cornwall, his family had been involved
with the Society for several generations. His work took him to Hong
Kong, however he returned to the family farm in Mereworth where his
planting of vineyards set him the challenge of re-inventing the world’s
oldest drink of mead at his Maroude estate.
Shelia Pretty seconded the proposal. After a show of hands William
Boscawen was elected.
James Forknall handed the chair over to William Boscawen.
William Boscawen expressed his delight at being elected as President.
7. To elect the Directors in place of those retiring in accordance
with Article 4.3:
a) The current Chairman’s term of office runs until the 2022 AGM.
b) The current Vice-Chairman’s term of office runs until the 2022 AGM.
c) To propose a vote of thanks to the current Honorary Finance
Director for his services during the past year and to re-elect
the Honorary Finance Director for a further term of three years.
William Boscawen then asked Julian Barnes to undertake a vote of
thanks for Hugh Summerfield. Julian Barnes reported he was delighted
to thank Hugh Summerfield for his commitment and total impartiality
to the Board. The Board recommend that Hugh Summerfield was
elected as Honorary Finance Director. William Boscawen then called
upon James Forknall to make this proposal. James Forknall commented
he was delighted to make the proposal. Kevin Attwood was the
seconder for the proposal and following a show of hands, Hugh
Summerfield was elected for a further three years. Hugh Summerfield
stated he was determined to achieve more for the Kent County
Agricultural Society in his position in these difficult times.
d. To elect one third (i.e. 2 directors) in place of those retiring for a
term of three years.
The Board proposed that Stephanie Matthews was elected as Director
of Kent County Agricultural Society Board. Stuart Gibbons made the
proposal and James Forknall was the seconder. After a show of hands
Stephanie Matthews was elected as a Director. Stephanie thanked the
Society; she had enjoyed her time as a co-opted Director and was now
delighted to be a Director.
The Board proposed that Jan Loraine was elected as Director of the
Kent County Agricultural Society Board. William Boscawen called upon
Mary Anthony to make this proposal. Stuart Gibbons was the seconder
and following a show of hands Jan Loraine was elected as a Director
of the Society. Jan Loraine expressed her delighted at being a new
Director and could bring knowledge to the role as she had spent the
last thirty years working in the financial and agricultural sector.
e. To elect the co-opted directors for one year
The Board proposed that John Coultrip was co-opted as a Director of
Kent County Agricultural Society Board for a one-year term. Charles
Tassell was delighted to propose John Coultrip with Gail Hickmott
seconding the proposal. After a show of hands John Coultrip was
elected as a Co-opted Director of the Society. John thanked the Society.
8. To elect the Members of the Council in place of those retiring in
accordance with Article 16:
a) To elect one-third (i.e. 20 members) of the Council to serve on
the Council for the next three years.
Fourteen members of Council have indicated their willingness to
stand for re-election, they were Mr J Barnes, Mr R Beaugie, Mr A
Broadrick, Mr M Cleverdon, Mrs A Corp, Mrs A Cottrell, Mr M Cullen,
Mr J Forknall, Mrs S Fuller, Mr P Goldsmith, Mrs A Moon, Mr R Parsons,
Mrs D Steele and Mr H Summerfield. Two new members of Council have
indicated their willingness to be elected, they were Mrs V Eames and
Mr A West. William Boscawen asked for a show of hands for all to be
nominated on to Council for a 3-year term. Council agreed with a show
b. To co-opt additional members of Council.
Under the new Memorandum and Articles of Association, co-option
of additional members of Council if any, will be undertaken at the next
9. To appoint Auditors.
Hugh Summerfield proposed Kreston Reeves were appointed as
Auditors and Ralph Stevens seconded the proposal. After a show of
hands Kreston Reeves would be appointed for another year.
10. To authorise the Directors to fix the remuneration of the Auditors.
Hugh Summerfield proposed for the Directors to fix the remuneration
of the Auditors and Kevin Attwood seconded the proposal. After a show
of hands this was agreed.
11. To consider any other ordinary business.
James Forknall asked for any other business. The following was raised:
It was asked if an equestrian development was being built at the
back of the Showground. No one on the Board or in the Society were
aware of this. James Forknall confirmed he would investigate it. It was
also asked if the members tables could be checked in the Members
Area at the Kent County Show as they were unsteady. James Forknall
confirmed he would investigate it.
David Rolfe asked about the Members Area car park not being
signposted well enough. Charles Tassell thanked David Rolfe for raising
this and would ensure staff were up to speed at the next Show for an
easier flow of traffic as well as signage which was very important.
Roz Day thanked all the Directors and Show office team for all their
continued hard work.
James Forknall thanked Julian Barnes as Vice Chairman for all his
support and all the Board of Directors and the Show Office staff for
their hard work.
William Boscawen closed the meeting and advised the Falmouth
Lecture would start shortly.
The meeting closed at 11.50am.
HON. FINANCE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Report from the Honorary Finance Director
If there was ever a doubt that the Kent County Showground was firmly
ensconced in the hospitality sector this year has been proof. Sadly, the
trading year has been divided into two quite varying financials in terms
of both income and expenditure. A budget was set and monitored
rigorously, pleasing to say that by the 18th of March there was little
variance in the budget to actuals and confidence was in the air.
Those of you that have read my annual statements before will
be mindful that I do not feel in depth analysis brings much to
the understanding of the year’s financials but this year maybe an
exception. The Annual County Show was budgeted with a contribution
of £120k (£1,100k less £980k) however with the cancellation there
was a net loss of £57k. The loss was a result of suppliers insisting
on invoking the contract cancellation clauses, mainly marquee and
power. With lower subscription income the variance was circa £77k.
With respect to the Society Events, Farm Expo, a result of timing, was
held with a contribution of £20k. The Heritage Transport Show could
not take place so a loss of net budgeted contribution of £23k; the
investment in Living Land, also cancelled, gave a saving of £16k. So
interestingly the combined result is that the budgeted contribution
was actually achieved. A torrid part of a year for the rest of the Kent
Event Centre. The actual contribution was £534k set against a budget
of £950k, very disappointingly but the tenacity of the team resulted
in the commercial trade events taking place which made a good
deal of difference to the overall results. The property income and
sponsorship held firm at circa £44k.
Before commenting on the expenditure and previously reported, Oak
View Caravan Park was sold during the year resulting in a book profit
of £32k. It was for many disappointing that the Society decided to sell
one of its assets but the business needed to be controlled by a manager
an owner-occupier. With the sale eliminating cumulative losses for
the Society the disposal avoids the Society of directing an enterprise
that has been accumulating losses. It is a desire that the proceeds be
invested in a structure on the main show ground that is a net financial
contribution. With Covid-19, the Board found it necessary to view the
future, constructing a team that is robust to meet the challenges ahead
but also be nimble and versatile.
The Board constructed an Employment and Staffing sub-committee
capable of fulfilling the perceived needs for 2021 year and a platform
1) The decision not to reduce salaries post the March payroll
2) Elect to consider furlough where possible
3) Employ outside employment consultants and legal support
4) Reduce staffing levels commensurate with activity level
The gross payroll cost April to September being £232k
The furlough grant being £138k and net employment cost of £94k
The redundancy liability at £58k
The consultancy fee being £13k
With less activity there inevitability were savings to be made on
property repairs and maintenance with the expenditure being £90k
against a budget of over £200k. This is not purely a saving but a deferral
of expenditure in certain cases. Expenses other than as noted were
generally in line with the budget. The Board decided to keep the
philosophy of Educational Awards. The result is a trading loss for the
year of £375k.
The Balance Sheet indicates a deterioration in Capital and Reserves of
£50k, which is pleasing but distorted by the profit on the sale of
1) Tangible assets only movement being the caravan park
2) Doubleday House no amendment to valuation
3) Investments holding firm at £405k
4) Deposits and cash shown at £606k (from £244k) as a result of
asset proceeds and the deferral option of the bank capital
repayment programme as a result of Government concession.
SUMMARY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
SUMMARY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Analysis of Income and Expenditure
Kent County Show: £ £ £ £
Admissions 1,375 508,209
Trade stands 238 291,908
Trade stand utilities - 40,877
Mobile catering - 67,302
Sponsorship and hospitality 205 64,864
Entries 48 40,858
Stabling - 9,825
Subscription income 19,681 30,673
Official Lunches - 5,403
Services and equipment 37,756 552,711
Livestock and equine 1,404 153,536
Entertainment 5,754 66,179
Printing and publicity 15,802 91,152
Members and stewards 7,204 49,154
Health and safety 5,382 4,598
Food and Farming 5,454 11,402
Official Lunches - 15,601
Surplus / (deficit) (57,209) 115,585
Society Charitable Events
Income 47,050 77,997
Expenditure 27,615 59,891
Surplus / (deficit) 19,435 18,105
Kent Event Centre:
Income 701,365 1,253,080
Direct costs 120,312 207,597
General costs 47,517 88,576
Surplus / (deficit) 533,536 956,907
Oak View Caravan Park: £ £ £ £
Income 3,847 56,288
Expenditure 10,710 31,361
Salaries - 44,315
Surplus / (deficit) (6,863) (19,389)
Rental income 37,104 29,398
Storage income 13,023 -
Investment income 7,095 7,779
Sundry income 28,766 7,869
Government grants 148,221 -
Profit on sale of
Total other income 554,282 45,046
Educational Awards 20,172 15,989
Staff costs 574,313 548,129
Premises expenses 73,604 61,473
Maintenance 91,707 211,768
Insurance 26,471 29,095
Administration 54,147 64,659
Professional and audit fees 51,641 34,172
Bank interest and charges 70,907 80,738
Depreciation 134,763 144,054
Total other expenses (1,097,725) (1,190,077)
Surplus / (deficit)
Net gains / (losses)
Society surplus /
(deficit) for year (50,222) (10,220)
Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 30 September 2020
Fixed assets £ £ £ £
Tangible assets 3,834,464 4,229,319
Investment property 525,000 525,000
Total tangible assets 4,359,464 4,754,319
Investments 405,361 363,459
Debtors 113,669 136,529
Cash at bank and in hand 605,578 244,824
Amounts falling due within one year (377,177) (375,806)
Net current liabilities 342,070 5,547
Total assets less current liabilities 5,106,895 5,123,325
Amounts falling due after more than one year (1,522,858) (1,531,017)
Provision for liabilities (58,151) (16,200)
Net assets 3,525,886 3,576,108
Unrestricted funds 3,525,886 3,576,108
Total Funds 3,525,886 3,576,108
The financial statements were approved and authorised for issue by the Trustees on 14th December 2020 and signed on their behalf by
Mr J Forknall, Chairman.
The summarised accounts for the year ended 30 September 2020 may not contain sufficient information to allow for a full understanding of the
financial affairs of the Society. For further information, the full accounts, including the unqualified auditor's report on those accounts and the
notes to the financial statements are available on request to the Registered Office.
Kent County Agricultural Society
Trevor Bristow Facilities Team Leader firstname.lastname@example.org 01622 633062
Lucy Hegarty Deputy General Manager & Show Secretary email@example.com 01622 633052
Sally Higgins Business Development & Sales Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 01622 633055
Ellie Pannell Events Team Leader email@example.com 01622 633054
Becky Parrock Marketing Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 01622 633058
Jo Watson Executive PA email@example.com 01622 633053
Mary Welch Hospitality Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 01622 633068
Ashleigh Wilday Business Development & Sales Coordinator email@example.com 01622 633065
Colin Willis Groundsperson firstname.lastname@example.org 01622 633062
Becky Withey Events Assistant email@example.com 01622 633069
Kent County Agricultural Society
T: 01622 630975
F: 01622 630978
Kent Event Centre
T: 01622 630975
Kent County Agricultural Society, Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3JF
Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England No. 2556508 & 2569094
Registered Charity No. 1001191