By Derek Skinner, Director at Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers
I was fortunate to enjoy great British summertime weather in July and August when attending two of the country’s main annual agricultural shows. These events take a lot of planning and are weather dependent on being successful. I set off to represent Bruce Stevenson at these shows, but also with my bike in the rear of my Land Rover so I could also incorporate some rural cycling.
First up was The Great Yorkshire Show, held in Harrogate, and I was there as a guest of insurance underwriters AIUA. This was my first visit to the impressive Harrogate showground, or so I thought. I realised back in 2014 I had finished there after the Tour De France Etap by rolling over the 123-mile finish line. In 2014 there were significantly fewer people and definitely not as many horses, sheep and cattle.
The final day of the show saw a great turnout of visitors, exhibitors and entrants. With everyone enjoying the wide range of showground events, choices of food, drink and the vast exhibition area. I was very impressed and agreed that I would be back.
The bike came out the next morning, with a few hours touring the lanes of Yorkshire with the local cycling ‘Cappuccino’ club. We stopped for some well-earned coffee and cake at Thirsk and Easingwold. The area is a cycling hotspot at the moment. The Cycling World Championships is coming through it on the 22nd September and excitement is clearly building among local enthusiasts.
August saw our annual sponsorship and stand at Turriff Show. For those who are unaware, this is a huge two-day event held on the outskirts of the Aberdeenshire town. The show was blessed by sunshine and large crowds, especially on Monday afternoon as the show came to a conclusion. As ever, a great time was had by all.
We've strengthened our team in Turriff and supporting local agricultural is a major part of our commitment to the North East of Scotland. Our office in Turriff High Street will become the hub for our farm insurance facility, due for launch in October 2019. This will allow Bruce Stevenson to offer a product which is best of breed and backed by a major underwriter.
Now, although you could consider these as my ‘home roads’, I set off on my bike to discover new areas of Aberdeenshire. I decided to take in a whistle stop tour of Highland League football stadiums. From Lossiemouth to Forres, Elgin to Huntly, it took a full day to cover the 140 miles and 7 clubs and wonderful Morayshire scenery. Despite it being a Saturday and full fixture list, I didn't see a single ball kicked in anger.
The summer shows are over for another year but I'm ready planning for 2020. I will head to the Borders Union Show, and perhaps find a new route and challenge for my bike that takes in some of the towns bordering Scotland and England.
The rural and agricultural industry means a great deal to Bruce Stevenson. With our Farming, Renewable Energy and Distillery products. we're firmly committed to living and learning in the countryside of Britain and remaining ‘Broker of Choice’ to the sectors that we service.
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