Lowther Estates has announced that the Lowther Show will not be taking place in 2020. The event was cancelled this year due to torrential rain and this week, the organisers Countryman Fairs went into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation.
2019 was a reasonably good year weather-wise but in August – the week before the Lowther Show took place – the heavens opened in true Lakeland style. For the first day, the organisers persevered – but the ground had become a quagmire and safety concerns led to the cancellation of the second day.
Lowther Show has seen several different incarnations since it was first started in the 1970s by the late Lord Lonsdale. Carriage-driving was one of its major focuses in those days as were country sports of all kinds. The show built up a reputation for its hound-show, its gun-dog displays, its emphasis on field sports. Prince Philip was a regular visitor, competing in the carriage-driving and adding further glamour to a highly popular three-day event.
By the early 2000s, Lowther Estate was finding the pressure to run the event single-handed too much – cancellation of the 2008 show being a particularly tough moment – and the estate gave up running the show. It was then that Countryman Fairs took over. This week’s news however, said a Lowther spokesman, demonstrates that shows of this nature are no longer viable.
“At Lowther Castle,” the spokesman continued, “we are delighted to be staging a year-round programme of events that appeal to our audience of families and heritage-lovers. Food markets, family entertainment and garden-based events are all part of our portfolio. Kendal Calling is a summer highlight while our autumn events – The Ghosts of Lowther and Fireworks – are hugely popular. Events at Lowther are very much here to stay.”