This year's Tendring Show is being led by its first-ever all-female leadership team.

Show organisers the Tendring Hundred Farmers' Club has appointed Catherine Parker as chairman and Mandy Rix as president for the 2024 event - marking a new milestone in its 125-year history.

Local farmer Catherine is manager of the popular Hasty's Adventure Farm near Clacton and her family - the Smiths of St Osyth near Clacton - has a long and close relationship with the club and the show.

The Smith family has been heavily involved in running the show's cattle classes and both her father and grandfather have served as club president.

Catherine's father Philip Smith and her uncle Guy Smith have both served on the executive committee.

She comes from an entrepreneurial family with Smith Farms Clacton involved in a number of ventures. Her brother, John Smith, invested in a new dairy with dad, John, a few years ago.

Catherine lives with husband - farmer Ben Parker - and children Wilfred, 13, and Harriet, nine, in Lower Kirby, Kirby-le-Soken, near Frinton. She was vice chairman to Will King for four years before taking on her current role. 

"It's quite a commitment," she admitted, with chairs normally in place for four years. But it's a commitment the family is used to.

"The day I was born Andrew Smith (her grandad) was chairman of the show," she pointed out.

She runs Hasty's with her aunt Penny and is responsible for the day-to-day organisation of the outdoor seasonal attraction which draws about 35,000 visitors a year. This year it scooped Best Small Visitor Attraction at the East of England Tourism Awards.

"I have been involved in the show for a long time on the executive committee but more recently I have been involved in the theme area and that's helped a lot working for Hasty's," she said.

"I have tried to create within the show more interactive areas."

Although running the event can be quite daunting it is also exciting, she said. The cost of marquees rocketing by 50% is just one of the challenges they face this year.

"You have got one day to do it and it's a massive build-up for one day and a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes," she said. "You just go with it."

Organising for the show is a year-long undertaking with meetings every week and social events in the lead-up

"I love the social aspect of it. And I'm passionate about the show itself. It's lovely to see the day coming together."

East Anglian Daily Times:

Mandy - a former club chairman - has been involved in the club and the show for more than 25 years.

Her father and father-in-law served as presidents and her husband Bill and children George and Jemma have all been involved in the running of the show.

She was brought up on a farm within a mile of the showground at Lawford House Park near Manningtree. Her brother, Guy Lennox, farms the field when it is not being used for the event as the tenant farmer.East Anglian Daily Times:

"I am truly honoured to take on the role of president at the Tendring Hundred Farmers' Club, a position that fills me with immense pride," she said.

She has chosen the theme of "Grow it, Cook it, Eat it" at this year's event on Saturday, July 13, as a way of celebrating the journey of locally-grown produce from the field to the table.

"The intention is to put a spotlight on our vibrant agricultural community and the important connection between farmers, chefs, and consumers," she explained.

Among the exhibits will be Fairfields Crisps showing how their crisps are made and an onion grader.

The Rixes' family farming enterprise - Stourgarden - based in the Stour Valley is now in its third generation. It is the sole supplier of onions to Tesco. 

Mandy's son, George, runs the onion operation while his cousin, Sam, runs the farm enterprise - having taken over from their fathers, brothers John and Bill Rix.

Mandy has always been involved in the show as her family grazed the showground.

"It will be fun because I know all the executive committee because I have worked with them before," she said.

"On the day we get there about 8am then we try between the vice president and myself to go around every stand at the show."

It's a "full-on day", she admits, with a lunch to host and prizes to give out.

Catherine said they had lots of exciting plans for this year's event.

"I’m looking forward to working with Mandy and the rest of the executive team and volunteers to deliver another successful day for all of our visitors and exhibitors," she said.

East Anglian Daily Times: The site will host around 250 trade stands and exhibits - including a large undercover shoppers' market, an art and lifestyle marquee and a food pavilion championing local produce. Other attractions include an education and a countryside area with a man-made pond.

This year's show will be the 107th since the club was established in 1899. It relies on a hard-working 20-strong committee and more than 250 volunteers on the day.

Every year it attracts around 20,000 to 22,000 visitors.

For more information and to buy tickets visit