A peek into past at highlights of our farming calendar
For many people in North Yorkshire, the progress of summer can be measured by the agricultural shows that are a highlight of the calendar in all parts of our county.
Elsewhere in this issue of Your North Yorkshire, we look at the significance to the county of the Great Yorkshire Show, which takes place next month. But despite its scale it is, of course, just one of many shows held each year around the county – each one just as significant to the people who organise them, exhibit and visit to enjoy the attractions ranging from displays of cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, goats and poultry to show jumping, dog agility and vintage tractors, baking, flower arranging and many other crafts.
So here we look back into last century to revisit the Great Yorkshire Show and a handful of other shows. While these images are steeped in nostalgia, they reveal that in many ways these annual gatherings remain essentially unchanged over the decades, offering reassurance that our heritage remains strong and will do so for generations to come.
Our archive images from the Great Yorkshire Show include:
- Queen Elizabeth II is shown around the Great Yorkshire Show by the show's president, Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Dunnington-Jefferson, in 1957.
- The Queen and Prince Philip at the Red Poll Breed Society tent at the show, also in 1957.
- A comical contraption on display at the show a year earlier, 1956.
- Beef shorthorn parade at the show in 1951.
- A girl with her pedigree pig at the show in the 1950s.
- Children fascinated by black Welsh mountain sheep at the show in 1970.
Looking further afield, we find:
- The Malham Sheep Sale is traditionally held on the Saturday of the August Bank Holiday as part of the Malham Show. This photograph is from 1964.
- A crowd watches the show jumping event at the 1946 Stokesley Show. The show was founded in 1859 and has been held annually ever since – except 1914 to 1919 and 1939 to 1945, and during the Covid lockdowns.
- Kilnsey Show is one of the most important agricultural shows in the Yorkshire Dales. The event hosts many activities such as dry-stone walling, sheep dog trials and harness racing. This view from the 1950s is looking down from the top of Kilnsey Crag.
- Nidderdale Show, seen here in 1948, is held annually at Bewerley Park Showground, near Pateley Bridge.
- The programme cover for the 1980 Wensleydale Show, held at Leyburn each August.
The archive images on this page are among more than 6,500 available at the County Record Office. Browse the collection or buy photos.
If you have any further information about any of the images on this page, our archivists would be keen to hear about it. Please email email@example.com