Two stalwarts of the North Yorkshire County Agricultural Show were honoured for their service at the event's annual dinner last Friday.

Ralph Pattison and Len Cragg were both presented with tokens of gratitude for their many years of commitment, hard work and participation in an assortment of roles.

Gifts of garden centre vouchers and flowers were presented by show president, John Prest and his partner Polly Reynolds, at the Village Inn, Brompton, near Northallerton.

Mr Pattison first attended the show with his parents aged eight in 1948 when it was held at Broomfield, Northallerton, and joined the show committee in the mid-1960s aged 26 when he finished his time with Young Farmers.

At first he was a steward on horticulture, and later became chairman of that section. He was also steward to Bobby Craggs with the heavy horses, and was later vice chairman before becoming chairman in about 1993, a position he held for 25 years. Stints as vice chairman, a committee member and show director followed until his retirement from the committee and as a director in December last year.

The Northern Farmer: Ralph and Jennifer Pattison with John Prest and partner Polly Reynolds

Mr Pattison also spent three years as show president, along with his wife Jennifer, although the middle year was cancelled due to the wet weather in 2012.

After days getting ready for the show there was nothing he enjoyed more than walking round the showfield, talking to people on the trade stands, and watching the grand parade with the vintage machinery and heavy horses.

Mr Pattison has said on many occasions over the years he wouldn’t have been able to do his job for the show if it wasn't for the committee members and many volunteers who have helped, and he thanks them all most sincerely.

Mr Cragg became involved in the show as a general helper more than 40 years ago after retiring from playing rugby. His job with MAFF meant he had to visit all local shows because of animal health, and at that time there was a lot of brucellosis around which unfortunately he caught, but through all the testing he got to know a lot of people in the show world. He likes to be busy, loves the farming life and anything associated with it and over the years has actively recruited people to help and be involved with the show.

The Northern Farmer: Len and Vivien Cragg with John Prest and partner Polly Reynolds

Throughout his service to the show he has held many roles, including being a steward in horticulture, running the dressed walking stick section, assistant secretary, health and safety officer, sponsorship secretary and eventually president. He also at various stages ran the sheep section and the heavy horse section, before retiring from the committee and as a director in December last year.

Mr Pattison and Mr Cragg's commitment to the show was also recognised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society in 2016 when they received long service awards presented at the Great Yorkshire Show. They both continued their unstinting dedication to the North Yorkshire County Show for a further seven years.

The Northern Farmer: Len Cragg and Ralph Pattison with their long-service awards at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2016

Mr Prest, whose presidency of the show carries on a family association with the event that began when his grandfather was one of the secretaries in the 1930s, presented Mr Pattison and Mr Cragg with their gifts following the show dinner, and a talk from Jeff Andrews, of Pickering, author of Tales of a Travelling Man. He spoke about his life in his younger days and his time spent as a milk man.