About & History

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.

The 2018 Bingley Show President

Mr Malcom Pickles
Show President

Meet The New Bingley Show President.

I have been a keen agricultural show exhibitor of produce for most of my life and when in my twenties also ponies. I was brought up on a dairy farm where we originally had Ayrshire cattle and my Granddad used to go up to Scotland to purchase them. In the 1970s we changed over to Friesians and we also had hens to supply eggs for our Green Top Milk Round. When I was a child Hebden Bridge still had an agricultural show that was held in mid-May and my mother’s family, the Shackletons, had an upland farm with moorland rights and kept sheep and cattle. My Mother and her sister Jean were members of Worth Valley Young Farmers that were involved in starting Keighley Show just after the war. Our old cows and calves went to Halifax or Huddersfield marts, but when they closed down it was off to Bingley on a Saturday or to Otley on a Monday.
My sister Dorothy and I were nurtured in the three Pennine valleys – Calder, Worth & Aire – and like most farming children we had our jobs to do. On the way to school we had to do part of the milk round. When we were still at school we took our exhibits of produce including eggs, wine, cakes and preserves to Otley and Halifax shows the night before and returned on Saturday hopefully to pick the winnings up after doing the milk round. When I got working I bought a Welsh Section A mare and put her in-foal and started taking them to shows as well. Bingley Show at that time the equine classes were in the bottom meadow down the long drag and the classes were on first thing in the morning – as were the handicrafts and eggs. I had a trailer and a little car then, but not powerful enough to pull it out if it was wet and crowded. If needed, Dad came over after the milk round, with the Land Rover with enough traction and power to get us out. One year we went to Stokesley Show which was the furthest in Yorkshire for us and is the penultimate one of season. It had to be a very early start and been very foggy and it seemed a very long way away – but I recall a good result with a champion mare, and also a cup for most points for produce in the tents. Then on the third Monday in September it was off in the Land Rover again to Nidderdale Show at Pateley Bridge to end the season.
It is a great honour and privilege for me to be president of {Airedale Agricultural Society} Bingley Show for 2018. I would like to thank and acknowledge all the sections and all the volunteers who come to meetings, or work quietly behind the scenes working away diligently for the good of Bingley and its Agricultural Society.
Let’s all hope for a dry and sunny day. Best wishes to you all,
Malcolm K Pickles

The 2018 Bingley Show Team

Martin Preston
Chairman

I have been involved with Bingley Show for 30 years having competed at my first show in 1988, although my memories take me back to attending every year from being a small child.

In 1994 I became part of the Cattle and Sheep committee, taking on it chairmanship a few years later.

I then took the role of Society Chairman in 2015 overseeing the organisation of the show with a trusted and hard-working team of volunteers.

David Hempel
Vice Chairman

My involvement with Bingley Show started in the early 2000’s when I began exhibiting pedigree Charollais sheep. Shortly after this I became part of the cattle & sheep committee.
In more recent years I have got more involved, being invited to join the management committee, then becoming show Vice Chairman and a Director of the Airedale Agricultural Society.

Bingley Show is a shared passion within our household as my wife, Laura, is chair of the handicrafts committee and also on the management committee.

Away from the show I am a father of two young children, a Director of a food ingredients company, and in my spare time enjoy playing guitar, motorcycle trials and have recently started clay pigeon shooting.

Claire Platts
Show Secretary

I am the third consecutive generation to be involved with the show, a fact I am proud of. My grandfather Tom Monk was a keen supporter of the show and enjoyed the showing of poultry as much as he enjoyed the callin to his follow poultry fanciers on show day.  He was a larger than life character and his enthusiasm for the show and the poultry section plays a big part of my father dedication and my love of the show. Our family involvement to the show is not limited to poultry with both my granddad and dad breeding and showing pigs at the show in the early 1960’s, alas we no longer have a pig section, but maybe we can hope one day it will return. When my father took over the running of the shows poultry section it was a full family affair with my mum and sisters helping out on show day and now with addition of my own children and a niece and nephew. As well as my role as Show Secretary, I am the Honourable Secretary of Manchester Anglers’ Association and my most important role being mother to 4, grandmother to one and wife to a husband, whom has now been roped into his own show duties.