SKIPTON’S Chris Windle is the new Kilnsey Show & Sports chairman – and greatly looking forward to this year’s 122nd Dales highlight on August 27.

He was elected at the 2019 annual meeting of show organisers, Upper Wharfedale Agricultural Society, moving up from vice-chairman and taking over from former long-serving chairman, local beef and sheep farmer Robert Lambert.

Chris, 62, himself has a long association with Kilnsey Show, stretching back many years to when he first helped a local lady farmer show Swaledale sheep, then in a business capacity when he initially worked as a land agent for 25 years with David Hill Chartered Surveyors in Skipton.

This continued when Chris established a land agency operation for Craven Cattle Marts at Skipton Auction Mart, which later became Windle Beech Winthrop – Chris was one of the three co-founders - latterly WBW Surveyors following Chris’s retirement in 2016.

He and his wife Linda themselves have farming interests, running their own pedigree Beltex sheep flock, which operates under the Cavendish prefix and is based in Embsay.

Chris, who was elected show vice-chairman two years ago, paid tribute to the work of his predecessor and said he looked forward to both maintaining and building on the success of high profile event, the ever-popular finale to the local agricultural show season.

The 2018 show was Robert Lambert’s last as chairman, a position he had held since 2003. He was first elected to the show committee in 1969, taking over as vice-chairman in 1998.

However, fourth generation farmer Robert, who runs an 800-strong Swaledale sheep flock, plus a Limousin cattle herd, at Mile House, Conistone-with-Kilnsey, will continue his long association with the show.

He has now been installed as president-elect and will follow in the footsteps of current president Dr Peter Whitehead, from Skipton, who completes his two-year term of office after this year’s show.

At the recent annual meeting, Robert’s stewardship was further recognised when he was made an honorary life member of Upper Wharfedale Agricultural Society, which is thought to be the first time the privilege has been awarded.

“Kilnsey Show has changed beyond recognition over the years, growing in popularity and going from strength to strength. Long may it continue – it remains in very capable hands,” said Robert.

The show has all-round family appeal and continues to shine the spotlight on the cream of local farming, rural life, food and produce, arts and crafts.