The story of Burwarton Show goes back over 130 years to 1891 when the Burwarton & District Farmers Club held the first ever Burwarton Show in a field just to the north of the village.
The aims of the Club were fivefold:
- The discussion of all matters affecting the interests of agriculture
- Mutual protection against fraud and adulteration of manures and feeding stuffs and a system of co-operation in the purchase of manures so that manufacturers could sell at lowest remunerative price without having to give credit and knowing that bad debt was covered by insurance
- The encouragement of good farming and the improvement of stock breeding
- The encouragement of good work, thrift and faithful service amongst agricultural labourers
- The furtherance of schemes to improve the condition of agriculture and closer ties of good feeling and mutual interest between landowners, tenant farmers and labourers
Whilst some of the rules were very much of their Victorian time, others are still applicable to today’s fast changing agricultural scene; co-operation and good husbandry being just two that are still relevant.
The Show President was Viscount Boyne, the present Lord Boyne’s great, great grandfather. This close connection between the Boyne family, who own the Burwarton Estate, has continued to the present day.
The Show was brought forward in 1893 to the second Thursday in September and then by way of amalgamation with the Burwarton & District Horticultural and Industrial Society, that held its exhibition on the first Thursday in August in Burwarton Park. Eventually the two organisations merged and the date of Burwarton Show has been the first Thursday in August ever since.
By 1901 the Show had moved to the Showground in Cleobury North but it is not known whether it continued to alternate with the Burwarton site. In any event, the Show continued uninterrupted from 1891 to 1913.
The 1914 Show was abandoned when war broke out on 5th August. There was then a long gap until the Show was reformed in 1947 after World War II. The Show was organised by the Brown Clee Club and directed by Mr RCB Edwards, the Burwarton Estates Land Agent, who continued to run the Show, with the help of the Estate workers, until his retirement in 1970.
No Show was held in 1971 and there was a real danger that the Show would be disbanded and the proceeds given to the Shropshire & West Midland Agricultural Society. However, a new Committee was formed in 1972 under the leadership of Richard Jones and since that time, the Show has gone from strength to strength.
Today, Burwarton Show can be really proud of its boast that it is the country’s best one day Show.