A Show is born….
Malhamdale Show has its origins in a meeting held at Airton on 22nd May 1907. The proceedings are briefly recorded in the minute book held in the Craven Museum, Skipton, and reads:
“It was agreed that the inhabitants of Kirkby Malhamdale do arrange to hold a Show and Gala and that the association for the purpose be formed. Mr. T. Edmondson proposed and Mr. Beck seconded the proposal that Mr. D. Carradice be Secretary of the association – carried. A second meeting was held on 28th May 1907 when It was agreed that a committee be formed consisting of all members who subscribe half a crown to the funds of the Association.”
The First Show
The first show was held on Saturday August 24th 1907 at Airton in “the croft against Mr Simpson’s”. Sports included races for boys and girls attending parish schools, water carrying in glasses for girls, a bun eating competition for boys, a duck race, a wheelbarrow race where the competitors were blindfolded, a slow bicycle race, sack races and a married ladies’ race.
The shows continued each year at Airton until the outbreak of the First World War, 1921 & 1922 saw the Show resume but then there is no record of anymore shows or sports days in Malhamdale until after the Second World War.
A show is reborn in 1946
Malhamdale Show as we know it today restarted when the Horticultural Committee met at 7 pm on Wednesday 17th April 1946 in Scosthrop School. The committee felt that the Show should also have an agricultural section and the secretary was asked to write to representatives from Otterburn, Calton, Scosthrop, Airton, Kirkby Malham, Hanlith, and Malham and invite them to serve on the committee.
This resulted in a meeting of the following enlarged committee on Tuesday 23rd April 1946. There were present Messrs F.Caton, J.Scarborough, R.Wright, G.Lister, W.Thorpe, T.Fagg, J.Hall, J.Verity, W.Swaine, E.Johnson, J.Thompson, P.Bolland and R.Taylor. Apologies were received from Messrs W.Hudson, J.Robinson, and T.Foster.
The show was to be held in Mr Joseph Hall’s field at Airton and it was decided to call the show “Malhamdale Show and Sports”. A further five meetings were held before the show took place on Saturday 24th August 1946.
Each year the Committee tried to introduce new activities or classes to keep the show interesting. Babies’ beauty was popular for many years but more recently has dwindled in interest and is not part of the programme now; Robin Hargreaves shared his reflection of his own participation recently on twitter as part of #ShareaStoryinOneTweet
“When I was 6 months old in 1962 my mum entered me into the babies’ beauty contest at Malhamdale Show. As she approached the ring where the judging was about to take place she assessed the opposition and withdrew me.” – Robin Hargreaves