Honorary Awards for outstanding commitment to the Society presented at Royal Welsh

Each year the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society presents a series of honorary awards to people who have given exceptional service to the Society, mainly in a voluntary capacity, and in many cases for well over 30 years.


A mix of honorary life vice-presidency, honorary life governorships and society awards were presented at a ceremony on the first day of the Royal Welsh Show (Monday 25 July) by the 2023 President, John Homfray and his wife Jo.

View the award images here: Pics. Elkanah Evans

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Honorary Society Awards

These awards are presented to individuals nominated by Directors and Assistant Honorary Directors, who have made an exceptional contribution to the Society over many years.

Honorary Life Vice-Presidency
Mr William Hanks, Assistant Honorary Director for Cattle, Honorary Director of the Royal Welsh Winter Fair and member of Glamorgan Feature County Committee. Will received the Society’s Honorary Life Vice Presidency for his outstanding service.

Honorary Life Governorship
Mrs Helena Davies – Hospitality steward at the Royal Welsh Show and Winter Fair for more than 34 years, a dedicated steward and tremendous supporter in Glamorgan County, Helena has worked very hard for the Society as did her late husband Tudor.

Mr Roger Howells – Roger has been involved with the Society for many years, by stewarding in the Sponsorship Pavilion and a former Treasurer for Pembrokeshire Advisory Committee.

Mrs Janet Lewis – Janet has been involved with the Handicraft Committee for over 35 years, including County Advisory Committee and three Feature Counties.

Mr John Thomas – John has been a long standing member on the Board of Directors and County Advisory Committee, has held a number of positions over the years and is very active with CARAS Wales. John must be congratulated for his chairmanship of the recent Regen23 event held in Glamorgan in June.

Mrs Lillian Gray – Lillian has given considerable service to the Society for nearly 40 years, as a Senior Steward in the Horse Section and has carried out her duties to a very high standard especially when running large classes.

Mr Christopher Jones – Christopher has given over 30 years of service to the Society. An announcer and commentator in the Horse Section Main Ring since 1994 and recently retired from his position prior to the 2022 Winter Fair.

Honorary Life Membership
Mr Estyn Bufton – Estyn has been on the Shearing Committee since 1994 and stewarded since 1981. Estyn has a laid-back manner and warm friendly attitude that ensure the little things get done in the Shearing Section. He leads a small army of stewards whose duties include the wool packing and removal and the handling and presenting of lambs to the judges for scoring immediately after shearing.

Mr Bryan Pugh – Bryan has been on the Shearing Committee since 1994 and has stewarded 1993. It is a huge understatement to say that Bryan is an integral component of the Royal Welsh Shearing Section. Without Bryan’s role in sourcing sheep from many farms each year the section simply would not function. Although he has passed on some of the duties to his nephew Stephen, he is still the ‘brains behind the operation’. His ability to source top quality sheep from some of the best farms in Wales is the reason the Royal Welsh is regarded as the finest Shearing Competition in the UK and Europe.

Mrs Karen Groombridge, the Society’s former Membership Officer was awarded with an Honorary Life Membership for her years of service to the Society.

Mr Eurwyn Edwards of Caernarfon has been awarded the Society’s Honorary Life Membership.

Joint Honorary Life Governorship
Mr Dave Wharmby and Mrs Gill Wharmby – Dave started stewarding in the Goat Section with Gill in 1978 under Chief Steward Madge Hughes. Following the retirement of Madge, Dave widened his role and took on the role of Chief Steward of the Goat Section for the last 44 years and has run the section to a very high standard.

Society Award

Mrs Helena Lewis
Helena has been a cattle hostess since 1992 at Royal Welsh events, and is the wife of David Lewis, RWAS former Chair of Council. Helena has been a loyal supporter alongside David at many Society events. Helena was presented with an engraved glass vase as a gesture of appreciation.

Dr Fred Slater
Fred’s association with the Society started years ago, when he was asked to put on display for a Radnorshire County Feature year, and as a result of that introduction to the Royal Welsh and many years later, Fred became the Assistant Honorary Director for Horticulture and then Festival Director, Chair of the Horticulture, a member of Board and Council and a keen advocate for all that is Royal Welsh.

Fred was awarded in 2006 with the Society’s Silver Medal and Honorary Vice Life Presidency. At the Awards Presentation Fred was presented with an engraved glass vase as a token of gratitude as he now steps down from certain roles with the Society.

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