Legend has it that the Ainsdale Show is probably the oldest one-day show in the North West, and when Row, Karen, Amy, Helen and Matt (below) rocked up, things hadn't been plain sailing for the event organisers in the days prior to show day. As if gales blowing down the children's tent wasn't enough, vandals also wrecked the main tents 48 hours beforehand. But acts of nature and mindless vandalism wasn't going to deter anyone from enjoying themselves at the 87th year of this show. Oh no, especially since Matt was going to wear his now-famous trousers.
First off, it was time to crown the new Floral Queen, Lauren, aged 11. Clearly a sought-after position, Lauren wowed us all with her speech, and she told us, exclusively we might add, that she's a keen football player and scored a hat trick on her very first match for Birkdale United.
We then went and had a wander through the different tents, and Matt reminisced about the time he won best floral display. Matt's Mum even won first prize for her jam, so clearly the Atkinson family are a hotbed of show-winning-talents.
By lunchtime, the gloomy skies had cleared and the sun was shining brightly. The show was packed and we were treated to the local cheerleaders strutting their stuff, the Rosebud competition, and displays by the YMCA Gymnastics Club to name but a few. Our ball in the bucket game proved to be quite a hit with several youngsters trying for up to an hour to get the ball in the err .. bucket.
The tempo started to pick up once Simon Jay, the "Dynamic Vocal Entertainer" took to the stage and we were all dazzled by his sparkly shirt, his ability to get everyone dancing, well, at least Helen and Row, and his extraordinary dance moves.
But it was the arrival of the H&M Dog Display team which really got our pulses racing, as admittedly, it was what we'd all been waiting for. The thought of dogs leaping through hoops of fire was too exciting to contemplate.
One particular dog, Pep, a relative newcomer to the display scene was our particular favourite (he's seen here in a "Learner" dog-gro) but didn't let that stop him getting involved.
No dogs were harmed during the display, and remember kids, don't try this at home.
Of course, the day wasn't complete without having a traditional northern meal to help us keep going. Matt took us to the Busy Bee, the "best fish and chips in Ainsdale," (his and indeed their words), where we enjoyed a truly glorious portion of chips, mushy peas and gravy.
All in all, we had a great time, leaving to the strains of Chris de Burgh accompanying the Tai-Kwando team. A perfect ending, we're sure you'll all agree. Our thanks to the lovely people of Ainsdale, Oliver and Lindsay for their help, and for Oliver giving Row a lift home.