Published: July 11, 2022 | Updated: July 11, 2022

Ollie appointed to top job as the Dorset County Show prepares for return after the pandemic

Ollie Allen who has been appointed Interim Show Secretary for the Dorset County Show.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Dorchester Agricultural Society has appointed Ollie Allen as Interim Show Secretary for the 2022 Dorset County Show.

She succeeds Will Hyde, who has been in the role since 2017, and takes on the responsibility of organising the return of the show following the pandemic.

Will remains a part of the team, supporting Ollie in her new role.

Ollie brings extensive experience having spent nearly 40 years working in agricultural shows, starting with a part-time role at the Bath and West Show.

She then moved to the Devon County Show in 1996 and enjoyed 22 years working with the team as Show Secretary.

Ollie said: “In 2018 I decided it was time to wind down a little but having missed the ‘buzz’ and camaraderie of show life, I’m thrilled to be able to support Dorchester Agricultural Society to put on this year’s county show.

“My secret to a successful show is to ensure that everyone involved – staff, stewards, exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers and helpers – all feel part of the ‘family’ and that atmosphere really rubs off on visitors.”

Dorchester Agricultural Society’s Board works closely with the Dorset County Show team to organise a successful event every year.

The appointment of the Board’s two youngest members, Hannah Martin and Ben Best, pictured, encourages new ideas and fresh perspectives for the event with their knowledge and experience through Dorset Young Farmers.

Hannah works full-time for Wessex Water as a Catchment Advisor alongside her role on the society’s Board.

In recent years she has been involved in the show’s Fabulous Food & Farming area.

Hannah, who has fond memories of the show as a child, visiting with her siblings, parents and grandparents, said: “The show has always been the flagship event that marks the end of the summer.

“I remember my siblings and I rushing to finish our arts and crafts competition entries a few days before show day, which is a lovely element of the event for youngsters.

“I’m really looking forward to having more of an insight into the behind the scenes of the show, having enjoyed it as a visitor for so many years.”

Ben was invited to join the Board in March last year and plans to bring new ideas and contacts from all over Dorset.

He’s an Agricultural Sales Manager for C&O Tractors, based in Blandford Forum, and represents Massey Ferguson farm machinery and Kverneland equipment.

He said: “Some of my favourite memories of the show are coming with my father and grandfather, exhibiting our sheep.

“My late grandfather had a flock of pedigree Charollais sheep, and I would help show them alongside other competitors, some of which are still my friends today.

“The show has so much to offer with a huge demographic of younger potential members who we would like to engage with, and the annual charity night is the perfect opportunity to do this.”

Dorset County Show has taken place for more than 180 years and is famous for its livestock attractions.

The show is on Saturday and Sunday September 3 and 4 at the Dorchester Showground, Cokers Frome.

‘Early bird’ tickets are available to buy online.

Children under the age of 16 enjoy free entry.