Q&A: Ginny Roberts, President of the Hertfordshire County Show 2010
PUBLISHED: 21:14 19 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:13 20 February 2013
Ginny Roberts, this year's president of the Hertfordshire County Show, takes time out to tell Louise McEvoy what visitors can look forward to, about the biggest challenge she faces, and about life in 'rural tranquillity'
Where do you live and what do you like most about the area?
We live in a very small hamlet between Redbourn and Harpenden with only six houses. We are blessed with the situation of living in rural tranquillity, but being a stones throw from towns that offer every amenity and where we have made many friends over the years.
Tell the reader a bit about yourself.
I have lived in Hertfordshire all my life and was educated at St Albans High School. My career began in banking and then I changed to advertising and marketing. I am married to Howard, an organic farmer. We took over the family farm in 1985 and it has been an adventure running the farm and raising our family here. We have two sons, and four grandchildren aged between one and seven.
How did you become president of this years Hertfordshire County Show?
I was asked to become president as my late father, Henry Barker, was secretary of the show from 1952 to 1984. He would have considered it a great honour that his daughter had been asked to be president of a show he helped to develop over 32 years. My hope is my role will reflect my familys thoughts on farming, food and the environment.
What appeals to you most about the annual show?
Having been to every show since 1952, I love meeting up with farmers, stewards and people associated with it. I am amazed how the event has grown in stature, yet still retains its friendliness.
What can visitors look forward to this year?
Whatever the weather, there will be hundreds of commercial, educational and charitable stands to enjoy. In addition, all the show rings have first class attractions on both the Saturday and Sunday.
What will there be for children?
I know what my grandchildren will want to see. The boys will want to see the tractors, cattle, and motorbikes doing stunts in the grand ring, and the girls will be trawling the shopping arcades, watching the horses, and taking part in the many competitions. A bonus is that all entertainment is free.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as president?
My great challenge comes on the two show days when, as well as some important official roles like prize-giving, I want to be able to see as much as possible, and still be standing on the Sunday evening!
What is your main aim as president?
I hope to encourage Hertfordshire residents who have never been to the show to come along as I honestly believe there is something for everyone to enjoy.
What do you do to relax in your spare time?
Howard and I love travelling, particularly to France, Italy, North Africa and the Middle East. I belong to the Harpenden Fine Arts Society and ladies National Farmers Union.
If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would like to meet my maternal grandfather, William Evert Knight, who came to England from Baltimore, USA, in 1910 and married a music hall star. He was extremely successful in business, but died in 1944 before I was born.
Describe yourself in one sentence.
I am outspoken, positive, loyal and willing to help others.
Where are the best views to be had in Hertfordshire?
The best view is from the top of the clock tower in St Albans, where you can see rural and urban Hertfordshire meshing together to create a very interesting spectacle.
The Hertfordshire County Show is at the Herts County Showground in Redbourn on May 29 and 30.For tickets and more information, visit www.hertsshow.com