The Dalkeith Show
The Dalkeith Show has been bringing together the Midlothian town and countryside together, ever since 1805. With Edinburgh just ten miles away there has always been a large potential audience for the show and it has been based recently at Dalkeith Country Park, with the permission of the landowner, the Duke of Buccleuch. Cattle parades, horse jumping, a dog show, a parade of magnificent vintage tractors, modern farm machinery, stands, stalls, a pipe band, sheep shearing displays, produce and craft competitions, a fancy dress show for horses, livestock and pedigree cattle contests, tombola and entertainment for the kids have all kept visitors entertained.
Putting on a show like this, though, is expensive. The local Morrisons store has helped out with selling ticks at a discount; local businesses have chipped in with contributions as well. Stands have been manned by organisations such as The Scottish Wildlife Trust, British Horse Society, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Royal Highland Education Trust, Young Farmers Societies and local historians, offering a glimpse into farmer's lives in the past.
In 2019 there was a celebration of the role that women play in agriculture - and they took centre stage, with every agricultural judge on the day being female.
Sadly; the 2019 show, although it was a great success, was the last for a long time - as a Covid pandemic swept across the world, the 2020 show, for which planning was well advanced, had to be cancelled with only a couple of months' notice, such was the uncertainty at the time.
Another was planned for 2021. Again, the Covid virus refused to co-operate with new strains arriving with agonising regularity. The organisers were unsure of whether or not it would be possible to hold the show after all but the overriding factor was the health and wellbeing of the contributors, the public and not least of all the livestock.
Shows of this size cannot be arranged, and then cancelled, without a financial jolt. Arrangements have to be made not only by organisers but also by exhibitors who need to organise transport for themselves, their equipment and their livestock. The decision to cancel the 2021 show was not an easy one to make but the problems were compounded by uncertainty over just what restrictions on movement and mixing of people would be lifted, and when. In this of course they were in the same sutuation as countless other enterprises in Britain and worldwide.
No doubt the show will continue in the future but it would take someone with a crystal ball to predict just what this virus, which has caused such devastation, has up it's sleeve for the future.
How Covid Affected Retail Establishments
For innumerable retailers, Covid has been a disaster. Many had to close their shops even though they had spent heavily on measures to limit the spread of the disease through their shops and when they came to try to claim for compensation on their shop insurance there was a shock in store; for the majority an interpretation of the small print meant that many were not insured at all.
A number of food outlets were able to keep on trading however by switching to home deliveries. This caused additional complications though; mosrt of them were unaware that food delivery delivery drivers need to have, well, insurance for food delivery!
Police forces had no difficulty pulling these unfortunate people using their cars, motorbikes or scooters to deliver hot food; they were particularly easy to spot with so many people in lockdown and many of them actually lost their driving licences under the 'totting up' procedure as a result.
There is now a huge fast food delivery industry in Britain with drivers delivering everything from a hot pizza to a full banquet!