BASC is appealing to those who attended the inaugural Gamekeepers’ Fair in 1976 to help celebrate the event’s 40th anniversary this year.
Organisers are particularly keen to obtain photographs, programmes or other memorabilia from the first show, held at Packington Park in Coventry.
To mark the milestone, it is hoped the 2016 BASC Gamekeepers’ Fair will attract the largest ever gathering of gamekeepers from across the country and BASC is teaming up with the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) to promote the event.
Steve Bloomfield, BASC’s England director and a former gamekeeper, said: “We are particularly keen to pay tribute to those who have gone before us and would be delighted to hear from those with memories or items from the first fair.
“It is often fascinating to look back in time, to provide a better appreciation of history and tradition. By drawing on the event’s long history, we hope we may also go some way to educating the next generation, public and politicians.”
Ian Grindy, chairman of BASC’s gamekeeping and gameshooting committee, said: “The Gamekeepers’ Fair is a traditional game fair and we are going back to our roots in 2016.
“The event started as a gathering of gamekeepers at Packington Park in the 1970s and this is exactly what we will be returning to in a key section of the show.”
Mike Dickinson, the NGO’s regional chairman for Derbyshire, said: “This will certainly be a celebration of gamekeeping to remember and a wonderful get-together of the family of ‘keepers. We all know keepering nurtures the countryside and the 40th anniversary Gamekeepers’ Fair is a perfect showcase to put all this good work on public display. Please ink the date in your 2016 diary. See you there.”
The 40th Gamekeepers’ Fair will feature a dedicated gamekeepers’ hospitality area, trade areas, Gamekeepers’ Row and a keepers’ shooting competition. It takes place at Catton Hall, Walton-On-Trent, South Derbyshire on 16 and 17 April.