The Society is a long standing organisation associated with horticulture, home industries and country pursuits in the Kings Bromley district.
Although a predecessor Society (the Horticultural & Floral Society) had been formed in 1882 and had held a number of Shows, some in conjunction with the neighbouring village of Elmhurst, that Society was wound up in 1899 and its residual funds donated to the Church clock appeal.
The poster dates from 1889 (reproduced by kind permission of Kings Bromley Historians). The Show was open from 2 until 8 pm and admission fees were on a sliding scale according to the time of arrival: 1s (5p) from 2 until 4 pm; 6d (2 1/2p) from 4 until 7 pm; only 3d for the last hour from 7 until 8.
The present Society was formed in 1919 as the Kings Bromley Horticultural Society with the words ‘and District’ added to its title in 1933 so as to include such areas as the Ridwares and Armitage.
Naturally over such a long period both the size and level of activity of the Society have varied but one event, the Annual Summer Show, has continued throughout as the main activity of the Society. By contrast, during the 1990’s, some other shows in the county were discontinued through the lack of sufficient involvement of members to organise the event.
The Society now uses the name Kings Bromley Show Society. It is shorter, gets to the point and as it has nothing to do with horticulture (except on Show Day), it saves people from thinking that it is only for gardeners!
There have been many changes in the composition of the Show depending on the rise and fall in popularity of various events. For instance, Sheep Dog Trials were introduced in 1925 but after 1930 there was a decline in their support and they were last included in 1933. Similarly a Poultry Section was introduced in the early 1920’s and became very popular before its demise in 1937. Meanwhile in 1931, a Horse Section had been started and support for this grew rapidly.
For many years in the 1950’s and 60’s horse events were held under the rules of the B.S.J.A. and B.S.P and some of the riders who entered classes became household names. Although there have been a number of changes in the nature of the horse events over the past thirty years, this section continues to play a significant part in the overall programme on Show Day.
Sports events have always been a feature of the Show programme. In the early years “foot races” as they were then called attracted entries from as far away as Birmingham, a very serious tug-of-war competition was included for many years, and brought back as a local amateur event attracting teams from local pubs, clubs and businesses but this has now been discontinued. Races for children and adults were regular events but since 2000 only children’s races take place. In 2004 a dog show was re-introduced.
Kings Bromley Show is now a professional entertainment based event and provides a very full day out for all members of a family. Several different rings provide something of interest for varied tastes. The main ring features the major entertainment of the day as well as Children’s Races and a parade of Treasured Vehicles, the Children’s Fancy Dress competition was discontinued. There are also horse, dog show and entertainment side rings. Displays of the competitive classes feature in the main marquee and outside are the 50 or so vehicles of the Treasured Vehicle competition. A Craft Fair with demonstrations, Food & Drink Fair as well as trade and amusement stands pack the showground with interest all day from 10 until 5.
During the 1990’s, some other shows in the county were discontinued through the lack of sufficient involvement of members to organise their event. We certainly put a lot of effort into the organisation of our Show each year, and are determined that it will continue. Learn more about the Society which runs the Show.
The Show Field
The present Show Field was made up of two separate purchases of land. The basis was formed by 4 acres, 1 rood and 20 perches bought by three Trustees of the Society from farmer John Hill in 1932. To repay these Trustees, many small amounts of money were formally loaned to the Society by villagers, all of which loans were subsequently repaid in full.
The second purchase of 7,433 square yards from Clifford White took place in 1945. The whole is fully owned by the Society, and is held in Trust for the benefit and use of the Society by its Trustees of the time.