Kent County Agricultural Society Annual Report 2020

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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

and volunteers."

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.

William Boscawen

2 3



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.

James Forknall





"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

Biddenden Tractorfest.

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.

Lucy Hegarty





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”

In 2019,

agricultural shows

generated an

income of £128.6m

Shows donated

£145m to charity

in 2019

In 2019, shows

involved almost

63,000 volunteers

In 2019, shows

employed 2,100

full time staff

alongside 10,800

temporary staff


shows had a

combined loss of

£36.5m caused by


Agricultural shows

not running this

year had a wider

economic impact

of -£810m


Romney Marsh Wools


Daryl Brown


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

other means.

• 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!”





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

Show traditions.

BHS Pleasure Ride

Tractor Run

Riders were in

small groups and

timed to ensure

social distancing.

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

Fordson tractors.

10 11



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

incredible £2,631.

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





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

Morgan Tasker

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.

Alice Edmonds

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.




"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

website: www.kenteventcentre.co.uk


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.

16 17



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

in August.

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.

Wellbeing People

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

around safely.

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

all day”

"Your team were

totally professional

and nothing was too

much trouble."

• Exhibitors and visitors were provided with their own COVID-Secure

documents so everyone knew their personal responsibilities for a

safe event.

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.”





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.


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

this day.

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.


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.




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

more information.


• 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

(Lord Kingsdown)

1984-1985 The Right Honourable Viscount Falmouth

(Deputy President)

1986-2001 The Right Honourable Viscount Falmouth

1995-2001 The Right Honourable Lord Kingsdown, KG

(Deputy President)

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

Hadlow College

High Sheriff of Kent

Kent Beekeepers

Kent County Council

Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies

Mrs L Pamphilon

Mrs R E Millwater

D Wood

R Gough

R Foreman

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

K Attwood

Mayor of Maidstone

Maidstone Borough Council

National Farmers' Union Kent Chairman

Young Farmers' Clubs

Honorary Veterinary Surgeon

Honorary Chaplain

Cllr M Ring

Mrs A Broom

W Alexander

T Jones

E Davies MRCVS

Reverend C Hodgkins


1972 The Right Honourable

Viscount Falmouth

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

Elected Members:

Retire January 2021

A Allen

Mrs M Anthony

N Bolas

Mrs P Conibeer

A Curwen

M Deakins

E G Doubleday

J Edwards

Miss G Hickmott*

C A Hyde

Mrs H Langrish

Miss L Martin

P Pierson

Mrs A Rillie

Mrs E Steed

S Solley

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

Elected Members:

Retire January 2022

P Anthony

A Barr*

T Cathcart

J Coultrip*

E Davies MRCVS

T Derouet

Mrs R Fox

Mrs F Friday

S Gibbons*

Mrs C Joules

Mrs S Matthews*

J Newton

D Rolfe

D Stevens

Mrs A Tydeman

A West

Mrs L West

T Whitehead

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

Elected Members:

Retire January 2023

J Barnes*

R Beaugie

A Broadrick

M Cleverdon

Mrs A Corp

Mrs A Cottrell

M Cullen

J Forknall*

Mrs S Fuller

P Goldsmith

Mrs A Moon

R Parsons

Mrs D Steele

H Summerfield*

Mrs V Eames

A West

24 25




(A Private Company Limited by Guarantee) (“the Company”)


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.


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

craft exhibitors.

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

26 27



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

charitable objectives.

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.

28 29



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.

Society Awards

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

of hands.

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

Council meeting.

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.

30 31



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

for 2021/2022:-

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

before redundancy.

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

fixed assets.

In summary:

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.

Hugh Summerfield

32 33



Analysis of Income and Expenditure

2020 2019

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

21,547 1,059,919


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

78,757 944,334

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

2020 2019

Oak View Caravan Park: £ £ £ £

Income 3,847 56,288

Expenditure 10,710 31,361

Salaries - 44,315

Surplus / (deficit) (6,863) (19,389)

Other Income:

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

320,073 -

fixed assets

Total other income 554,282 45,046

Other Expenses:

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)

before investing

Net gains / (losses)

on investments

(54,544) (73,823)

4,322 63,603

Society surplus /

(deficit) for year (50,222) (10,220)

Consolidated Balance Sheet as at 30 September 2020

2020 2019

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

4,764,825 5,117,778

Current assets

Debtors 113,669 136,529

Cash at bank and in hand 605,578 244,824

719,247 381,353


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

Charity Funds

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.

34 35


Kent County Agricultural Society

Trevor Bristow Facilities Team Leader trevor@kentshowground.co.uk 01622 633062

Lucy Hegarty Deputy General Manager & Show Secretary lucy@kentshowground.co.uk 01622 633052

Sally Higgins Business Development & Sales Coordinator sally@kentshowground.co.uk 01622 633055

Ellie Pannell Events Team Leader ellie@kenteventcentre.co.uk 01622 633054

Becky Parrock Marketing Coordinator becky@kentshowground.co.uk 01622 633058

Jo Watson Executive PA jo@kentshowground.co.uk 01622 633053

Mary Welch Hospitality Coordinator mary@kenteventcentre.co.uk 01622 633068

Ashleigh Wilday Business Development & Sales Coordinator ashleigh@kenteventcentre.co.uk 01622 633065

Colin Willis Groundsperson colin@kentshowground.co.uk 01622 633062

Becky Withey Events Assistant becky@kenteventcentre.co.uk 01622 633069

General Enquiries

Kent County Agricultural Society

E: info@kentshowground.co.uk

T: 01622 630975

F: 01622 630978


Kent Event Centre

E: info@kenteventcentre.co.uk

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

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