Rain double-edged sword
By LUIS FELIU
THE rain which held off for most of the first day of the 104th Murwillumbah Show yesterday finally came down late in the afternoon, sending showgoers and participants scurrying for cover.
Tweed River Agricultural Show Society president Jenny Glasby said before the down- fall that she was hoping it would stay overcast, but if it did rain many Tweed people would welcome it, given the experience of a very dry year.
The crowd, Mrs Glasby said, was good for a Friday and today was expected to be even bigger. Friday is tradi- tionally the day when many local schools attend the show and yesterday was no excep- tion, with hundreds of uni- formed youngsters enjoying all manner of attractions, equestrian events and rural displays and demonstrations.
Last night's rain caused the cancellation of the fire- works display, but show secretray Ian Ross said a dou- ble-bunger would happen to- night with both night's fire- works spectaculars rolled into one, beginning at 9pm.
Meanwhile, Mrs Glasby, in her first show as president, had another reason to feel proud - her grandson Jack, 13, won the supreme cham- pion junior rider under-17 tro- phy. Jack showed excellent control of his horse Laredo to win the coveted trophy in his third show, riding against many older riders.
A CUTE hairy puppy dog of the rare breed famous for its truffle-scenting ability managed to sniff out a prize at his first Murwillumbah Show yesterday.
Fonzy, a six-month-old Lagotto Romagnolo, an imported Italian breed, won best minor puppy in the gun-dog class - and a nice crystal bowl for his owner, Melanie Marshall of Upper Coomera on the Gold Coast.
Fonzy was later to compete for best minor puppy in all classes.
Ms Marshall, who trains animals for film and television and works at Movieworld, said the Lagotto breed was very rare in Australia with only about 50 dogs.
"This was Fonzy's third show, his first two shows were last week in Queensland and he won in his class," she said.
"The breed has been featured on programs such as Burke's backyard and Dr Harry's Practice - they're renowned for not losing their hair, so they're good pets for asthmatics or people with allergies.
"All gun dogs love the water, this one's a water addict, and they come in different colours such as all brown or champagne," she said.
ONE of the more unusual items demonstrated at this year's Murwillumbah Show was a wooden foot-powered pole lathe which dates back 3000 years ago to Egyptian times.
Part of John Jewell's Australia's Living History heritage display which made its debut at the show this year, the pole lathe, according to Mr Jewell, was still in use for wood-turning in Australia during the early 1900s till electric motors took over.
"I've never touched an electric blade all my life and wouldn't touch one - I do all my own handles for tools with this," Mr Jewell, from Esk in Queensland, said.
Before the advent of electric motors or metal lathes, the pole lathe, he said, was widely used to design engine parts such as pistons and valves out of wood which were later cast in metal.
Tradesmen called moulders, he said, used pole lathes in industry and science.