THE CHAIRMAN of the Three Counties Agricultural Society Michael Blandford has retired from his position after six years.

And to mark the occasion he was presented with a crystal decanter by HRH The Princess Royal, patron of the Royal Three Counties Show.

The society promotes agriculture in the three counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire; it organises a number of events including RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Royal Three Counties Show, Malvern Autumn Show, CountryTastic, National Young Stars and Three Counties Farming Conference, which attract 250,000 people each year; and it hires out the showground to third parties for an array of events throughout the year.

Chief executive of Three Counties Ken Nottage said: “I would like to thank Michael for his dedication to the role of Chairman of Council. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege working with him. I thank him immensely for his support.”

Michael, a farmer from Coddington, who specialises in cider fruit production and is former President of the Hereford Cattle Society, became a member of Three Counties Agricultural Society Council in 1982. He will continue working with the society by overseeing the stewarding of the apple and pear orchards at the Three Counties Showground.

Michael is succeeded as Chairman of Council by Clive Roads, managing partner of Worcester Livestock Market.

He said: “I am honoured to have been elected and will do my utmost to uphold the legacy that Michael has left. My involvement with the society goes back to the mid 1970s when I became a steward and this appointment is a culmination of many enjoyable years of service.”

The Princess Royal presented five retiring members of the council with Honorary Life Governorships. They are Barbara Norman, Michael Blandford, Chris Bailey, Arthur Hurran and Chris Southgate. She also met the staff at Three Counties Agricultural Society.