History
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15th July 2024

HISTORY OF THE SHOW

Main Source: "Stithians Agricultural Association - The First 160 Years"
by Jack. R. Williams.

Founded in 1834, Stithians Show began as a challenge between the local parishioners over the standards and quality of produce and livestock; almost 200 years on, the same agricultural competitition remains at the heart of the show.

1934 - Centenary photo of Show Officials
1934 - Centenary photo of Show Officials
1934 - Centenary photo of Show Officials

The following is an extract from the West Briton of 27th July 1838 where the 'Stithians Annual Show Fair' is reported and it really wouldn't be out of place for a report from our modern show:

"This fair was held in the Churchtown on 16th inst, when the day being fair, great numbers of respectable farmers and butchers from neighbouring parishes and towns attended and a great many bargins were effected at good prices. The fair was abundantly supplied with cattle of the best quality and breed, better than we have ever witnessed at any former exhibition. There was great competition in horses and especially in colts many of which would have done honour to the first exhibition in the kingdom."

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1910 - The Grandstand at Stithians Show
1910 - The Grandstand at Stithians Show

Minutes from Association meetings give clues as to what was happening at the show with the list of subscribers in 1875 reported as including: Kennal Vale Gunpowder Company, West of England Manure Company, Cornish Bank of Redruth and Viscount Falmouth. In 1876 there was no prize money awarded in the Sheep Section, 1894 saw a tent hired for the butter making, 1897 a horse-shoeing competition was introduced and in 1899, the show welcomed hedging and granite stone boring competitions both of which were dropped again 5 years later.

In 1905, the committee arranged for a procession, known as the 'March Up' to walk through the village to the showground on the morning of the show to mark its official opening. This tradition continued until 1993 when the show moved to the new showground where the Show Officials now march from the Main Entrance to participate in the formal opening of the show at the flagpoles.

In 1909, the enterance fee for the show was given as the following:

1 Horse & Carriage & Coachman 1/6 (7.5p)
Each Occupant 1/- (5p)
Carriage Pair & Coachman 2/6 (12.5p)
Each Occupant 1/-
Motors and Driver 2/6 1/-
Each Occupant 1/-
Granite Boring Competition 1912
1912 - Granite boring competition. Winners: E. Phillips (Contstantine)
and S.G Lawry (Treverva)
Granite Boring Competition 1912

In 1912, the record for Granite Boring by hand was set at 3ft 3.75inches in 15 minutes - how many could achieve that today? In 1920, the Show Secretary's salary was recorded as being £15 for the year - do you think our Secretary would accept that this year?

The show was not held during World War II (1940-1944) and soon after, in 1947, the first Hon. Life Vice Presidency was awarded to Mr. Harry Mitchell who had been an unpaid Show Secretary since he was first appointed in 1927. In 1958, the first lady President was elected and the same year also saw the first lady Hon. Life Vice President. Now known as Hon. Life Membership, it is still awarded to those that offer outstanding service to the Association.

The first year that the show had the use of the British Showjumping Association jumps came in 1952, and the show continues to use them today - although a rather more updated set! Sadly, the same year saw the Cattle Section cancelled due to an outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease in the area.

In 1977, The Association adopted the crest that we still use today; the same year a badge with the crest was awarded to the President and it was also made into a flag to fly above the show, both of these traditions have continued every year since.

Timeline

1834 - The year of the first show.

1958 - First Lady President was elected.

1976 - Became a Registered Charity.

1977 - The Association adopted their own crest.

1984 - Association celebrates 150th Anniversary.

1992 - Purchased the land and moved to the current showground

1994 - 'Stithians Agricultural Association - The First 160 Years' book by Jack R. Williams was published.

2011 - Became a limited company.

The Association made a huge step in 1993 with the purchase of the showground from Kennal Farm after the rent of the show fields used in the village was increased by over 300%! It is thanks to the foresight and vision of those that made this purchase which has created such solid foundations from which the Association can develop and evolve. It is now our responsibility as custodians of the Association to follow that lead and be as forward thinking and innovative as we possibly can be as we take the show into the future.

An aerial view of the old showground

PRESIDENTS of the ASSOCIATION

2024 - Mr K. Downing, Carron Downs 2023 - Mr P. Brown, Illogan 2022 - Mrs S. Knight, Lanner
2020 & 2021 (Virtual Shows due to Covid19) - Mrs S. Knight, Lanner 2019 - Mr P. Hancock, St Day 2018 - Mr J. Robilliard, Bodmin
2017 - Mr P. Stevenson, Stithians 2016 - Mr C. Opie, Illogan 2015 - Rev. Canon M. Warner, St Austell
2014 - Mr S. Kimberley 2013 - Rev. D. Reed 2012 - Mr D. Oates
2011 - Mr M. Tripp 2010 - Mr J. Large 2009 - Mr C. Bowden
2008 - Mr D. Nicholls 2007 - Mr R. Bowden 2006 - Mr L. Roskilly
2005 - Mr R. Pascoe 2004 - Mr R. Manhire 2003 - Mr D. Tangye
2002 - Mr I. Perry 2001 - Mr I. Perry (No Show) 2000 - T. Wills, Esq., Leamington
1999 - M. May, Esq., Feock 1998 - Miss K. Mead, Stithians 1997 - J. B. G. Holt, Esq., Probus
1996 - T. K. Plummer, Esq., Truro 1995 - Mrs EF. (Lee) Bowden, Stithians 1994 - L. R. Barter, Esq., Stithians
1993 - W. P. Gluyas, Esq., Stithians 1992 - P. J. R. Stephens, Esq., Redruth 1991 - H. D. J. Reed, Esq., Radnor
1990 - H. D. Martin, Esq., Trispen 1989 - H. Opie, Esq., Stithians 1988 - H. Kneebone, Esq., Perranwell Station
1987 - R. Pascoe, Esq., Stithians 1986 - Mrs. Joyce Green, Longdowns 1985 - N. J. Jeffery, Esq., Stithians
1984 - WM. Prowse, Esq., Stithians 1983 - R. M. Eddy, Esq., Redruth 1982 - J. M. Turnbull, Esq., Falmouth
1981 - Dr C. A. Biscoe, Stithians 1980 - E. T. Paget, Esq., Stithians 1979 - Ben Dale, Esq., Gwennap
1978 - Sam Lean, Esq., Redruth 1977 - Mrs E. Jones, J.P., Perranporth 1976 - B. Martin, Esq., Truro
1975 - John R. Knuckey, Esq, J.P., Ponsanooth 1974 - Mrs E. M. Phillips, Stithians 1973 - W. Pascoe, Esq., Stithians
1972 - S. Trevena, Esq., Stithians 1971 - Jack R. Williams, Stithians 1970 - E. J. Brown, Esq., Stithians
1969 - R. M. Berryman, Esq., Ladock 1968 - L. J. Richards, Esq., Frogpool 1967 - W. Prowse, Esq., Stithians
1966 - W. J. Andrew, Esq., Treskillard 1965 - W. J. Kneebone, Esq., Perranwell 1964 - H. Prowse, Esq.,Stithians
1963 - Rev. J. R. Jose, Perranarworthal 1962 - J. T. KJelbert, Esq., Wendron 1961 - H. E. Phillips, Esq., Stithians
1960 - H. S. Felton, Esq., Kettering 1959 - C. H. Andrew, Esq., Falmouth 1958 - Miss J. Hellings, Stithians
1957 - W. Opie, Esq., Stithians 1956 - W. F. Gluyas, Esq., Stithians 1955 - A. Opie, Stithians
1954 - Miss D. M. Briddon, Stithians 1953 - J. H. Phillips, Esq., St. Austell 1952 - P. M. Williams, Esq., Burncoose
1951 - W. J. Thomas, Esq., Cusgarne 1950 - W. J. Dunstan, Esq., Camborne 1949 - W. J. T. Peters, Esq., Stithians
1948 - H. Mitchell, Esq., Perranporth 1947 - W. J. Andrew, Esq., Stithians 1946 - J. S. Richards, Esq., Stithians
1945 - B. W. Knuckey, Esq., Stithians 1940 - 1944 Second World War. No Shows 1939 - A. Phillips, Esq., St Austell
1938 - H. J. Collins, Esq., London 1937 - C. Hancock, Esq., Truro 1936 - G. Hughes, Esq., Redruth
1935 - C. J. Cooke, Esq., Redruth 1934 - Cmdr. AG Agnew, M.P. 1933 - A. C. Phillips, Stithians
1932 - P. M. Williams, Esq., Burncoose 1931 - W. J. Opie, Esq., Stithians 1930 - A. Collins, Esq., S. Africa
1929 - WW Bulkley, Esq., Stithians 1928 - C. H. Peters, Esq., London 1927 - G. P. williams, Esq., Scorrier
1926 - C. H. Simmons, Esq., London 1925 - J. C. Williams, Esq., Caerhays

CHAIRMEN of the ASSOCIATION

2024 - Mr N. Vague, Stithians 2023 - Mr N. Vague, Stithians 2022 - Mr K. Downing, Carnon Downs
2020 & 2021 (Virtual Shows due to Covid19) - Mr K. Downing, Carnon Downs 2019 - Mr T. Bowden 2018 - Mrs Y. Toms
2017 - Mr T. K. Plummer 2016 - Mr T. K. Plummer 2015 - Capt Mike Higham
2014 - Mr K. Downing 2013 - Mr G. Downing 2012 - Mr L. A. Roskilly
2011 - Rev. D. Reed 2010 - Rev. D. Reed 2009 - Mr M. Angove, Truro
2008 - Mr R. Manhire 2007 - Mr T.K Plummer, Truro 2006 - Mrs J. Brown
2005 - Mr C. Opie 2004 - Mr A. Angove, Redruth 2003 - Mr C. Bowden, Stithians
2002 - Mr W.R. Bowden, Stithians 2001 - Mr W.R. Bowden (No Show) 2000 - Mrs S. Knight
1999 - Mr T. Williams, Stithians 1998 - Mr G. Martin, Stithians 1997 - Mr F. Bache, Perranwell
1996 - Mr C.H. Opie 1995 - Mr P.J. Brown, Illogan 1994 - Mr J.C.D. Oates
1993 - Mr H. Kneebone, Perranwell 1992 - Mr R. Manhire, Redruth 1991 - Mr J. Turnbull
1990 - Mr M. Gray, Stithians 1989 - Mr K. Wilcocks, Stithians 1988 - Mr C. Bowden, Stithians
1987 - Mr J.R. Williams, Stithians 1986 - Mr D.C. Tangye, Stithians 1985 - Dr C.A. Biscoe, Stithians
1984 - Mr W.R. Bowden, Stithians 1983 - Mr L.A. Roskilly, Stithians 1982 - Mr G.C. Ellis, Stithians
1981 - Mr E.H. Opie 1980 - Mr E.D. Nicholls 1979 - Mr W.P. Gluyas, Stithians
1978 - Mr Rex Pascoe, Stithians 1977 - Mr T.K. Plummer 1976 - Mr R.M. Eddy
1975 - Mr L.R. Barter, Stithians 1974 - Mr Ken Mead, Stithians 1973 - Mr R.I. Andrew, Stithians
1972 - Mr W.B. Dale 1971 - Mr E.T. Paget, Stithians 1970 - Mr R.C. Hawke
1969 - Mr W.K. Beard, Stithians 1968 - Mr S. Trevena, Stithians 1967 - Mr William Prowse, Stithians
1966 - Mr E.J. Brown, Stithians 1965 - Mr N.J. Jeffery, Stithians 1964 - Mr F.C. Bolitho, Stithians
1963 - Mr G. Gay 1962 - Mr W. Tremayne 1961 - Mr A. Opie, Stithians
1960 - Mr H. Dunstan 1959 - Mr H. Prowse, Stithians 1958 - Mr W. Jackson
1957 - Mr H.E. Phillips, Stithians 1956 - Mr J.T. Jelbert 1955 - Mr J.R. Knuckey
1954 - Mr W.J. Martin, Stithians 1953 - Mr Wilfred Prowse, Stithians 1952 - Mr N. Pascoe
1951 - Mr W. Opie, Stithians 1950 - Mr G.P. Marshall 1949 - Mr G. Clemens, Stithians
1948 - Mr W.F. Gluyas, Stithians 1947 - Mr J.H. Williams 1946 - Mr H.E. Phillips, Stithians
1945 - Mr J.T. Jelbert 1940 - 1944 Second World War. No Shows 1939 - Col. H.F. Gordon, Stithians
1938 - Mr R.J. Andrew 1937 - Rev W.F. Kirk 1936 - Mr J.H. Williams
1935 - Mr B.W. Knuckey, Stithians 1934 - Mr J.S. Richards, Stithians 1933 - W. J. Andrew
1932 - Mr W.J.T. Peters, Stithians 1931 - Mr W.J. Andrew, Stithians 1930 - Mr B.W. Knuckey, Stithians
1929 - Mr T.H. Oliver 1928 - Mr E.E. Perry, Stithians 1927 - Mr W.J. Andrew, Stithians
1926 - Mr B.W. Knuckey, Stithians 1925 - Mr J. Richards