Show History

The Hanbury Show was established in 1947

Although we consider 1947 our date of establishment, the history of Hanbury Countryside Show can be traced back to the Edwardian era; there is evidence that Hanbury Horticultural Society was holding an event as early as 1902. With the patronage of the Vernon family of Hanbury Hall, the horticultural show held considerable stature in the local area and the silver Vernon Rose Bowl dating from this early period of the show’s history is still awarded today. 
 
Although horse shows took place in Hanbury before the war, Hanbury Horse Show began in 1947 under the chairmanship of Wilfred Heard (pictured in the group photo to the right). This first Show took place at the Hanbury Village Recreation Ground. It quickly grew in stature from a rather modest gymkhana event to an event in 1950 which included carthorse racing and children’s events. Since their committees shared many members, from the second show onwards the horse show was combined with the existing horticultural show, and was thus, unsurprisingly, known as ‘Hanbury Horse and Horticultural Show’. 
 
By 1953, the Show had outgrown the land available at the Recreation Ground and moved to the field at the rear of the Vernon Arms pub in Woolmere Green. This could accommodate a much larger Show and many new events were added including the hunter classes and show jumping as well as a substantial fair. For a short time during this period, the show also had donkey classes, much to the chagrin of the horses, however these classes were discontinued in 1971. It was while the show was held at the Vernon Arms that the horticultural show separated from the horse show, moving back to its traditional September date in 1958.
 
In 1974, Hanbury Show had to leave the Vernon Arms and entered a period of ‘nomadic’ existence as no permanent venue was found. The show moved around Hanbury and its surrounding villages, with shows held in Feckenham and Himbleton on some occasions. Naturally, this lack of a home for the show had a detrimental effect and its future was in a degree of jeopardy. 
 
Luckily, in 1985 the show found a permanent home on Hollowfields Road, a location where it remains to this day. The fields of Skirgens Farm and Park Hall Farm proved ideal for equestrian events with flat land and permanent pasture underfoot. The show continued between 1985 and 2011 and was frequently one of the best supported and attended horse shows in the area. After the 2011 show, however, it was decided that to secure the future of the slightly waining show, change needed to take place.
 
In late 2011 the decision was taken to change the Show into a one day agricultural horse show and the addition of many new sections were proposed. Hanbury and District Horse Show and Gymkhana Society became Hanbury Countryside Show Society. The first Countryside Show, scheduled for the 7th July 2012, was sadly cancelled due to water logged fields. 
 
In 2013 more than 6500 people attending the event. The new sections including cattle, sheep and poultry proved highly successful. The horse section entries were the highest they had ever been, trade stand numbers exceeded all expectations reaching 135.
 
2014 notably saw the reintroduction of the Horticultural and Home Craft Marquee. The Hanbury Horticultural Society had held its last show in 2002 and had entered a period of dormancy. The Hanbury Horticultural Society assists in the running of the horticultural marquee which continues to be a highlight of the show.
 
The 2015 show was another great success, as the sun shone and we welcomed a record 10,000 people through our gates compared to just 1,500 in 2011. We also had a record two hundred and nine trade stands, up from only seven in 2011.
 
The guest of honour at the 2015 Show was Mrs Joan Bomford - Countryfile Farming Hero 2015. Joan is a regular attendee and supporter of the Hanbury Show.
 
The 70th annual Hanbury Countryside Show took place on Saturday 1st July 2017; the event attracted over 14,000 people, the largest attendance ever acheived.
 

 

 

 

 

© Hanbury Countryside Show 2017