Humans of the Royal Welsh Show project returns for the Winter Fair

25 November 2015

Greg Thomas
Greg Thomas

Following the success of the Humans of the Royal Welsh Show, PhD student Greg Thomas returns to Llanelwedd next week to conduct the Humans of the Winter Fair project.

Humans of the Winter Fair aims to chart the stories of the ordinary and the extraordinary, the stories of those people who attend and work behind the scenes to make the Royal Welsh Winter Fair one of the greatest prime stock show in Europe.

Although the livestock, Welsh produce and the finest crafts take centre stage at the Winter Fair, Humans of the Winter Fair celebrates those who work behind the scenes, and charts the stories of the visitors, exhibitors, and volunteers who come together with such enthusiasm, to ensure the continuing success of the event.

Throughout the 2015 Winter Fair the stories of the Humans of the Winter Fair will be told on Facebook using Humans of the Royal Welsh Show account (www.facebook.com/humansoftheroyalwelshshow ) and on Twitter using the account @HumansOfTheRWS (www.twitter.com/HumansOfTheRWS). Members of the public are invited to ‘like’ and follow these pages and leave their comments in the lead up to, and throughout the Winter Fair.

The Humans of the Royal Welsh Show project was an extraordinary success, with 62 people being profiled throughout the 2015 Royal Welsh Show. Throughout the week, 197,990 people from 84 different countries viewed the Humans of the Royal Welsh Show posts on the Facebook page. It is hoped that some of this success can be repeated at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

Speaking about the project, Greg said “the level of public engagement with the Humans of the Royal Welsh Show project was completely unprecedented, demonstrating the interest that people in Wales, and around the world have in the activities of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. The reach of the project also showed the power of social media, allowing people all around the world to get a glimpse behind the scenes of the Show”.

Aled Jones, Assistant Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society said “I have been hugely impressed by the positive response and interest generated by Greg’s Humans of the Royal Welsh project. It has given a glimpse into the sheer volume of manpower required to run our events and the affection by which the show is held by our volunteers and visitors. A stroke of genius”.

It is hoped that Humans of the Winter Fair will further spread the story of Welsh agriculture, to an increasing audience, the project aims to focus on all aspects of the Winter Fair, and to further sell the story of Welsh agriculture to the general public.

Greg added “I am delighted to be able to continue with the project, hopefully it will provide an insight into the work that goes into the Winter Fair, and what the event means to the people of Wales and beyond. I also hope that through using social media, I will be able to tell the story of the Winter Fair to new audiences, who would not normally attend such events.

Humans of the Winter Fair forms part of Greg Thomas’ ‘Agricultural Shows: Driving and Displaying Rural Change’ PhD research in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University. This project aims to establish the role of agricultural shows in Wales today. It is hoped that this research will establish the benefits that agricultural shows bring to rural areas, their wider role in rural change, the way agricultural shows bring together town and country and also their role in facilitating relations between farmers and the Welsh Government.

If anyone would like any further information of the PhD project, to contribute, or to get in touch with Greg, full contact details can be found at www.showingagriculture.co.uk.

Greg Thomas is a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, one of the top 100 geography departments in the world. His research is funded by the Aberystwyth University Department of Geography and Earth Sciences Doctoral Career Development Scheme. He is from farming background, having being brought up near Builth Wells and has been a regular visitor to the Royal Welsh Show and other agricultural shows around the UK throughout his life.

More information on the research can be found at www.showingagriculture.co.uk.

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Contacts

Greg Philip Thomas
Department of Geography and Earth Science
Aberystwyth University
07572 601 982 / 01970 622 610 / ggt9@aber.ac.uk 

Arthur Dafis
Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs
Aberystwyth University
01970 621763 / 07841979452 / aid@aber.ac.uk