About The Show
The Airedale Agricultural Society can trace its origins back to a show held in a field at Gawthorpe in 1862. Over the last 100 years the show has been held at Myrtle Meadows, Bradford & Bingley Sports Club and, most recently, at Myrtle Park. Bingley Show is one of the biggest one-day agricultural, horticultural, craft and horse shows in Europe.
History of Bingley Show
The Airedale Agricultural Society will be holding the 137th Bingley Show in Myrtle Park on Saturday July 21st . The growth of the Airedale Agricultural Society formed in 1866 was very strong from the first Bingley Show held in Myrtle Pastures in 1867. The Show provided an excellent focal point for the local agricultural community and the demand for leisure activities from a hard working population. Over 7000 people attended the first show and increased attendances followed at future shows. The showground moved from Myrtle Pastures to land adjoining Bingley Grammar School before returning to Myrtle Park in 1920. In its heyday the show was one of the largest one day agricultural shows in the North. At its peak it attracted over 25,000 visitors. The Airedale Agricultural Society has changed the format of the show over time to meet the evolving demands of its audience while at the same time retaining the essence of an Agricultural Show. Today the show remains a popular attraction for the residents of Bingley and West Yorkshire.
Since 1908 there were close links between the Agricultural Society and Bradford & Bingley (which formed in 1964 following the merger between the Bradford Equitable and Bingley Building Societies) with the old Bingley Building Society providing financial support to the show.
Since 1973, Bradford & Bingley also sponsored the Open Horse Jumping event and the Bradford & Bingley Trophy was competed for by many fine riders. Past competitors have included well-known local riders such as Harvey Smith and his sons, as well as the Whitaker and Fletcher families. A former President of both the Show and Bingley Building Society was J Harold Wright. He was described in the local press as a man of wide interests, well known local Magistrate and farmer. A member of the Show for over 60 years from 1904, he also held the office of Director of Bingley Building Society for more than 40 years. Hugh F Hartley, a well known textile manufacturer and local farmer was a President of the Show for over 20 years as well as a long serving Director of the Bingley Building Society. These are just two of many examples of the deep and long links between two of Bingley’s major institutions.