Activity at the Cattle Market
If you happened to pass the Market way on Wednesday, 6th October, you would have instantly realised something different was going on down there. Admittedly it was rather foggy and early in the morning, but there was so much activity and hustle and bustle. The Cattle, Sheep and Pigs were on parade. Not to be outdone by the rams on the previous Monday, the cattle were being scrubbed, their tails brushed and really made to look their best. Oh yes, something was really happening.
The farmers had their wives with them; a portable bar was erected in Messrs. Weeks’ and the Market Hall looked like a butcher’s shop with lamb carcases neatly arrayed.
Of course, it was the 16th Annual Autumn Show when prizes and cups are awarded for the best livestock.
By 10 a.m. the sun had lifted the fog. The judges donned their white coats and soon set to work. Every beast tethered to the rails was thoroughly scrutinised and every pen of sheep was carefully considered. The eventual winning beast was bred by the well known Beckley butcher, Mr. Jack Skinner and the Rye Challenge Cup (given by the Mayor and Corporation) for the best breeding sheep and presented by the Mayoress, Mrs. W. J. Hacking, was won for the second year running by Mr. Jack Merricks of Icklesham. The Stormont Challenge Cup for the best pen of fat sheep went to Mr. Alan H. Cooke. The first prize in each of the pig classes was awarded to Mr. Frank Winter of Udimore and the prize for the best lamb carcase was won for the second year in succession by Messrs. Simpson (Rye Harbour) Ltd.
After the judging, Messrs. Vidler & Co. took over and trading soon got under way. The champion beast was brought into the ring and was eventually knocked down at £10 per cwt.
At the end of the day everyone agreed it had been very successful and just as a passing thought, I hope that champion ram of Mr. Merricks’ has not been bragging too much, for the 1 -lambed, 2-lambed and 3-lambed ewes from the same farm absolutely swept the board at this Show—and, oh dear, you know what women are!
From the November 1965 Issue of “Rye’s Own”
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