History

Weeton and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society, better known as Weeton Show, was established immediately after World War II and here is an extract from an early Membership Card:
“OBJECTS OF THE SOCIETY. To encourage the efficient cultivation of the soil by farmers, gardeners and all flower lovers; to organize an annual competition and the award of prizes for the exhibition of farm crops, garden flowers, vegetables, cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, domestic crafts, home pets, etc.  ; and to hold an annual Show of Exhibits for providing a social event for all interested residents and visitors."  Since this illustrious start when the Earl of Harewood, two knights and most of the local gentry were Vice Presidents, Weeton Show has grown to become the best and most inclusive local community event. It has taken place every year since 1945 except in 2001, when the Foot & Mouth epidemic caused cancellation of the show. Originally the show took place in Huby Institute and the adjoining land. The Institute, erected in 1920, was a wooden ex World War I army hut which was replaced by Almscliffe Hall in 1987?

 

As the show increased in popularity and equestrian events became an important attraction, more space was needed so Kent Fields on Weeton Lane became  the venue until the mid 1980s when the move was made across the lane to the present location . We say “the sun always shines at Weeton Show” and even though the fields were flooded the week prior to the show one year and Yorkshire Water had a massive excavation through the centre of the show ground  another year, the committee have always been determined that “the show must go on”. Fun and laughter – have always been guaranteed. While the  Famous Weeton Dog Race is predictable as a hilarious fiasco, other events have not always gone to plan. Among unplanned incidents was the unforgettable  Falconry display when the falcons flew miles away to Almscliffe Crag leaving the embarrassed, lonely falconer with nothing to demonstrate apart from his  microphone. Soon afterward we introduced the Weeton Crag Race, a 5 mile fell run to the top of Almscliffe Crag ….runners possibly seeking the long lost falcons?!

 

In 1990, in an effort to increase attendance and avoid a financial crisis, it was decided to move the show day from a Saturday to a Sunday. This was a great success but it did caused controversy with some of the long standing and loyal church attending supporters of the show, so, in a marvellous spirit of  compromise, it was agreed that the vicar would conduct a service at the show ground. The Church, WI, Tennis & Bowling Club, Almscliffe Hall and numerous other local and national charities have all benefited from funds raised at Weeton Show.

 

“Guessing weight of Live Lamb”, “Guessing weight of Live Pig” and “Best kept Cottage Garden” are classes listed in the 1949 schedule which have disappeared, but apart from these, it is amazing how closely the original classes and traditions of the show have been followed. "Since 1945 Weeton Show Committee has been and will continue to be, dedicated to maintaining the great traditions of a genuine English village show."

 

By Justin Locke 1995

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