Malhamdale Local History Group    




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Malham Showfield late 20th century

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Malhamdale Show 1907 - 2002


The First Show
     The Skipton Military Band played during the afternoon and again in the evening for dancing which was enjoyed in the marquee from 7-30 to 10-30.

There were over 200 entries in the classes for cattle, sheep, foals, plants, vegetables, etc., and over 90 in the sports. A large tent held exhibits in the plants, vegetables, poultry, egg and bread sections together with a central display of plants from the gardens of Mr Morkill and Mr Tunstill. Mr Squibbs, the head gardener at Eshton Hall, was judge for the Horticultural section which included a class entitled "a bunch of wild flowers gathered by the schoolchildren".

The sports included races for boys and girls attending parish schools, water carrying in glasses for girls, a bun eating competition for boys, a duck race, a wheelbarrow race where the competitors were blindfolded, a slow bicycle race, sack races and a married ladies' race.

The Craven Herald's reporter described the day as being a decided success. Entry to the show was 6d. The accounts for the event show income of 47 12s 5d, expenditure of 30 1s 10d giving a balance of 17 10s 7d.

The Craven Herald's advertisement for the first Malham show held in 1907

See the full report as it appeared in The Craven Herald of August 30th 1907.

Animal classes were extended to pigs of farmers and pigs of cottagers; a cottager being defined as a person who does not keep a cow and who lives by labour.

The Fifth Annual Exhibition of the Malhamdale Agricultural and Horticultural Society was held on Saturday August 19th 1911. The catalogue detailed 147 classes including an extensive poultry section, missing from the modern show, and even a class for your Aspidistra!

The show continued to be held successfully each year at Airton until the outbreak of the First World War.

The last committee meeting recorded in the minute book before the war, was in Airton on June 10th 1914 in Scosthrop School. The impending world events apparently did not give rise to comment at the meeting but the show was not held that year and the next record is of a meeting held on May 24th 1919 when it was recorded that the society's accounts showed a balance of 16 16s 4d. It was decided, however, not to hold a show in 1919. The show was not held in 1920 either and on February 12th 1921 the Society was disbanded. The minutes record that it was "Proposed by Mr H Preston, seconded by Mr Metcalfe that the balance in hand together with the plant be handed over to a committee when formed for the purpose of establishing an annual Horticultural Show and Sports to be held at Airton."

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