A THROWAWAY remark at the Royal Highland Show in 2015, as people of all ages were taking selfies with a baby calf from Weardale, provided the inspiration for an idea to help raise money for a charity.

So, at the 2016 show, a collecting bucket for donations to The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh was placed discretely near the calf. In the following four years, £975 has been raised for the hospital's toy fund. This collection will recommence at the next Royal Highland Show and will continue as long as there is a junior handler.

This year, farmer Dennis Craig of New Park, Westgate, decided to do something similar at the three local shows in Weardale. The baby calf, who was born on July 19 this year, is called Parkhouse Pansy 11 and was trained by his daughter, Victoria Bowman, of Stanhope, for 22-month-old Ida Henderson with a little help from her big brother Ralph, aged four, who live at Old Park Farm in Westgate.

Pansy was shown at Weardale Show at St John's Chapel and Wolsingham Show. Although Stanhope Show does not have dairy cattle classes, the committee welcomed the idea of raising money for the Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle.

Pansy was a great hit with the public, both old and young, and a total of £475 was raised. The organisers would like to thank you everyone who donated.