Advertising FeatureDriffield News

Focus on Driffield Showground

As farming began to improve in the 1830s, farmers’ clubs, mainly for discussion and consideration of new methods being brought forward, began to be formed up and down the country, as the Victorians were much given to improving themselves.

It was in 1851 that the Driffield Farmers’ Club was formed and they held experiments with the new agricultural machinery on Mr Hopper’s farm at Kelleythorpe in 1852.

In 1853 the Farmers’ Club developed into the Driffield and East Riding Agricultural Society, then in 1854 the first Driffield Show was held.

‘The Driffield Agricultural Society held its first annual exhibition of farm stock, poultry, horses and implements in a field within a short distance of the town, on Wednesday 12th July, where it was clearly demonstrated that union is the strength of the farmer when spiritedly put into action, without looking for, or feeling that the great and rich are indispensable to the existence of agricultural societies, however advantageous their pecuniary aid and patronage may be to all societies whose object is the furtherance of improvement and social progress.’

In 1954, the society bought its third home and the site where it still is, the Showground at Kelleythorpe.
Two additional fields were purchased in the 1980s and 1990s and a long-term lease was taken on a fourth field around 2010.

Over the last 20 years, the site has been improved with the introduction of two new toilet blocks and with the renovation of the members’ building in the centre of the Showground, which originally started existence as an officer’s mess at Catfoss Aerodrome.

The Agricultural Society built The Rix Pavilion in 2015 and this events venue has really brought the site up to date, allowing the society to rent out its facilities to third parties as an income generator for their charitable activity.

Driffield Agricultural Society, as with many other agricultural societies, has never been a wealthy organisation, shows have been missed due to both world wars, outbreaks of foot and mouth and anthrax, and more recently the global pandemic.

In August 2020, the showground opened for a month as a caravan and campsite and this was repeated again during 2021 in an attempt to remain ‘ticking over’ through that difficult period.

In 2021, Driffield Show was the first agricultural show to be held outside of restrictions, although it still operated strict biohazard management rules that had been agreed with the local authority.

Following the pandemic in 2021 and 2022 the Driffield Show ran as a two-day event to allow maximum numbers to attend safely, the shows ran successfully and gave many businesses a much needed opportunity to trade.

With the commencement of normal event activity the decision was made to close the campsite.

The society is fortunate to have a good relationship with many charitable trusts, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and sponsors who have seen the merit in supporting the society’s delivery of activity and with this and very careful budgeting, they have weathered many storms.

As well as having a number of committees consisting of society members, the society is now overseen by a board of directors and employs six permanent members of staff, three of whom are full time and three part time.

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please allow ads on our site Ads help pay for our website and content. Switch off your ad-blocker and enjoy.