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  1. Get set for The Gillingham & Shaftesbury Spring Show, now taking place on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June 2024.  This countryside show offers two days of perfect entertainment for all the family.  Children up to the age of sixteen go free and advance tickets are just £15 per adult.

    In the main ring, comic capers come alive with hilarious stunt clown Dingle Fingle getting up to all sorts of mischief.  Make sure you duck to miss the water canon! 

    June 8 and 9 Spring Countryside Show Dingle Fingle Comedy Car

    June 8 and 9 Spring Countryside Show Dingle Fingle Comedy Car capers Photo

    There’s also lots of wonderful animal attractions to enjoy.  You won’t turn your snout up at Joseph’s Amazing Racing Pigs as five rare breed trotters hurdle over jumps and enjoy a fun hog hoe-down.

    June 8 and 9 Spring Countryside Show racing pigs 2024

    Horse fans will adore Amanda Sandow’s famous Spotted Ponies, showcasing circus heritage and the art of woman and horses working together.  This year, there’s also a Heavy Horse Village where you can get up close with these giants of the equestrian world, learn more about their important role in our country’s history and see them in action.  The countryside theme continues with farmyard animals and fun, free tractor trailer rides, sponsored by Friars Moor Livestock in Sturminster Newton.

    June 8 and 9 Spring Countryside Show Amanda Sandow ponies 2024

    Green fingered fans will not want to miss the line-up of horticultural talks and demonstrations by renowned gardening gurus.  Plus, there’s plenty of plant stalls to tempt you to take something home for your own garden.  And if you’ve ever fancied having a go at felting or even making your own crown, some of Dorset’s leading crafts people will be sharing their skills in the ‘Hands On’ marquee.

    Show organiser Cat Harris said: “We really want visitors of all ages to get involved with lots of tactile experiences they can enjoy, things to make, lots of have-a-go stalls and a chance to get up close with wonderful animals too.”

    Visit Spring Countryside Show to book and find out more.

    June 8 and 9 Spring Countryside Show 2024

    Image credit: Tony Rive

  2. Poole Old Lifeboat Museum can be found on the eastern end of Poole Quay at Fisherman’s Dock and is open daily from March until winter.  Admission to the museum is free however any donation is hugely appreciated.

    Poole RNLI Museum 1

    The museum is housed in the boathouse where Poole lifeboat station was based from 1882 to 1974.  The compact and informative museum brings to life the history of lifesaving in the town and also houses the Thomas Kirk Wright lifeboat which was operational at the station from 1939 to 1962 and was one of the little ships which took part in the Dunkirk evacuations in 1940.


    You can walk around the entire boat, reading about the construction of the building and the history of the RNLI in Poole.  You also have the opportunity to try on the crew kit which my daughter and father enjoyed through fits of giggles.

    There’s a little shop where you can buy souvenirs, gifts and books and my husband bought a cool RNLI cap.  We also spotted ‘Betty’s Pots’ which are recycled mini jam jars which can be filled with coins and then once returned it goes towards the RNLI.  We took 2 so each child has one and we’ll be returning them with some change inside next time we visit.

    For more information on the Poole Old Lifeboat Museum, please visit the RNLI.