WITH no repeat of last year's traffic chaos and a cool start to a day that gently warmed up, this year's edition of the Ellingham Show was a classic event to remember.

And classics, in the form of Austin Sevens, were the first thing that the thousands of visitors first saw as they streamed through the entrance.

Members of the Dorset Austin Seven Club brought along 23 diverse specimens of the marque, the oldest being a 1925 Chummy and the raciest being the bright red Ulster Special owned by 17-year-old Scott Wiseman from Ashley Heath.

Among the numerous trade stands was the New Forest Association stall.

The association has doubled its membership in 15 months since members started visiting more shows and telling people what they do, said vice-chairman Peter Roberts.

Leather-jacketed members of Ringwood Riders revved up with a wide range of classic British-made motorcycles, though there was a brilliant shiny Harley Davidson among the array and a handful of older Japanese classics.

Lurking behind the members' enclosure were a dozen dangerous-looking scarecrows including a ghostly headless woman with her head under her left arm and two piratical chaps one of which won Mary Waterman first prize.

Among the numerous equestrian events was the High Jump in the main ring, won by Joanna Brown on Beacon Bigglelette with Sarah Kate Butler on Buddy, Anna Bruce on Bea Bay and Terri Diffey on Harley in joint second place.

The gentle giants of the show, the heavy horses, were a great favourite with the crowd.

The gelding class attracted a large audience. First place was taken by Willingham Boxer, a Percheron owned by Malcolm Scurrell. Second was Sam Tetlow's Bodernog Brigadier and third was Medstead Royale owned by Lisa Willis, both shires.

John Whitleley's and his border collies kept the crowds entertained as they rounded up flocks of wilful geese and four ducks were urged to take a dip.

Children were called into the main ring to meet the hounds of the New Forest and Wilton packs.

Alan Brown, from Wool, demonstrated how to create hurdles using seven-year-old hazel. Nearby was Ringwood's Roy Cox who was making traditional oak shingles using a draw knife and froe.

Charlie Hathaway, of Wimborne, showed off his collection of ancient stone bottles while next door another Wimborne man, Peter Keeping, won a first prize in the garden machinery section for his collection of elderly lawn mowers which included an edger that used to be used on the lawns at Windsor Castle.

Third prize in the class went to Norman and Pat Bird, of Poole, who have an extraordinary collection of hand tools including a bramble slasher and barking iron used in the tanning industry.

In the cattle section Martin Westlake and daughter Jackie Haugh, from Godshill, were pleased to win a reserve champion rosette with K-nine, a Welsh black cross Murray grey.

In the sheep pens, Paul and Hilary Wiseman, from Upper Kingston, Ringwood, went home happy knowing their Charollais stud ram Gorgeous George had won the championship.

Among the tractors was a 1962 Porsche Junior K owned by Dave Wuytack of St Leonards, but first place went to Mannington man Phil Bascombe's 1938 Fordson Standard Model N towing a stunning retimbered trailer.

Included in the line-up of military vehicles was a Morris 10hp utility belonging to Clive Silcock of West Moors.

Among the food suppliers were the Ellingham Church folk including vicar the Rev Malcolm Riches who was lending a hand clearing up.