The Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig Breeders’ Club is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the remarkable achievement of 100 years of pedigree GOS pigs. That the breed teetered on the edge of extinction on a number of occasions means that this is a real milestone and we very much hope that someone in 2113 will be raising a similar fanfare in celebration of the breed’s first 200 years!
Here are some of the activities and events taking place in 2013:
Display at the Gloucester Folk Museum, Westgate Street, Gloucester
Running from February to September (with a break in June while the exhibition is moved to the Royal Three Counties Show) the display is open to members of the public and inludes a number of items, photos and stories relating to GOS pigs over the last 100 years. The museum is open every day except Sundays and Mondays. Admission for adults is £3.00 and £2.00 for concessions. There is much else to see at the museum including the stuffed remains of Chedworth Pansy, a sow from the 1950s. More details of the display can be found here – Leaflet
AGM & Grand Afternoon Tea 13th April
The GOSPBC’s AGM is being held this year at Colesbourne Manor, near Cheltenham at the kind invitation of Sir Henry & Lady Elwes. Sir Henry is grandson of Colonel Elwes who kept the Colesbourne herd of GOS pigs and who was Chairman of the GOS Breed Society (and who was noted for running meetings ‘with military aplomb’.
The event is closed to paid-up members of the GOSPBC and their family guests.
The AGM takes place in the morning and will be followed by a ploughman’s lunch.
Sir Henry will then conduct a tour of the arbortum and grounds before returning to greet the arrival of the Club’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal.
There will then be a Grand Afternoon Tea during which the Princess will present trophies and prizes for Club competitions including the Elwes Memorial Cup.
Pig Keeping Workshop, The Butts Farm, near Cirencester, 14th April
The following day sees us move from Colesbourne Park to The Butts Farm, by kind invitation of Judy Hancox & Gary Wallace, an open rare breeds farm and farm shop near Cirencester for a practical workshop on pigs and pig management. The programme for the day is as follows:
09.30 Arrive, tea & coffee
10.00 Interpreting the Breed Standard by Judith Sims
11.00 AI for beginners by Guy Kiddy
12.00 Lunch – a hog roast
12.45 What the butcher wants by Gary Wallace and How to finish GOS pigs for meat by Judy Hancox
13.45 Countdown to the Royal Three Counties Show by Allison Littlehales, Mandy Garbutt and John Lightfoot
14.45 Tea and depart
The Royal Three Counties Show, 14th-16th June
Much of the celebration will be conducted at the annual Royal Three Counties Show at Malvern in June.
Special classes have been put on the encourage more exhibitors with the best turnout seen at a show for decades. There is a Young sow class and a special competition for novice exhibitors never having won a 1st prize at a BPA Approved Show. The GOSPBC is making a specila one-off prize for the Breed Champion of £100 with £50 for the Reserve. Judith Sims will be judging.
Alongside the pig lines will be a tented display to celebrate the centenary including much of the exhibition from the Gloucester Folk Museum, open for all three days to the public.
On the evening of Friday 14th June, there is a Hog Roast and Music celebration in the Members’ Pavilion open to everyone by pre-purchased ticket. It is being held jointly with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust who are celebrating their 40th anniversary at the same time. Tickets can be ordered from the Online Store click here
On the morning of Saturday 15th June, the annual Champion of Champions competition will take place with the top pigs from the leading shows in the country competing for the main prize being judged by Mrs Viki Mills & Mr Stephen Booth.
In the afternoon of Saturday 15th June, the Club is working with the organisers of the show to stage an Old Spots Celebrity Challenge when celebrities including Countryfile presenter, Adam Henson, food writer and restaurant critic, Charles Campion and another foodie specialist, Tom Parker-Bowles, will all be challenged to conduct a GOS pig around a porcine obstacle course.
Grand Centenary Draw