ALBURY SHOW SOCIETY

Horse Show Sunday 19th September 2021 @ AWEC Thurgoona(CANCELLED)

 

Annual Show 3 DAYS Friday 29th, Saturday 30th & Sunday 31st October 2021(CANCELLED)

Acknowledging the 150th Anniversary 

In 1857, forty people attended a meeting in Albury called by Robert Brown. From that meeting, 150 yrs ago, the Albury and Murray River Agricultural and Horticultural Society was born. Almost immediately the Society held a Show in which ‘fine peaches, grapes, quinces and maize were shown.’ The wheat exhibited however was only ‘tolerable.’ As part of that Show, a ploughing match between a three-horse team and a two-bullock team was staged. Later in that year a stock exhibition was held.

A Showground site was chosen in Wodonga in 1860. This was fenced and the fifth annual Show was held. The fruit and vegetables were displayed next door in McKay’s Victoria Hotel in their large upper room. After this effort, the Society collapsed and the next Show was held six years later on ‘Hospital Hill’ in Thurgoona Street, Albury.

About this time the Society dropped the term ‘Murray River’ and became Albury and Border Pastoral, Agricultural and Horticultural Society.

The Society struggled till 1875 when a new committee was elected. Three thousand people attended the Show in 1876 which was held in the Gaol Gardens with the jumping being held on the Botanical Reserve.

In 1878 another site was chosen in Hume Street, but a five-acre site at Alexandra Park on the north-east corner of Guinea and Young Streets became available and that land became the Showgrounds till after WWII. The first Show on the new site was in 1879 in conjunction with the Albury Industrial Exhibition adjacent to the Mechanics Institute. This exhibition was run by the Show Society. A side light to that exhibition is that Alf Waugh a local butcher, attended and as a result, purchased a generator to run a refrigerator at his shop. He was the first butcher to use cold storage in Albury.

Another six acres was purchased on the Young Street site in 1884 and a very substantial grandstand was erected (to which there was much opposition but I don’t know why). The stand held 600 people. That year the Show had an attendance of 7000. Another grandstand was built in 1904 which was even bigger. Before the turn of the century the Showgrounds also had a cycling track and ‘facilities for all types of sport.’ The Show had become a significant event in the life of the wider district, an example being that Yackandandah Shire declared a public holiday on the middle day of the Show and Messrs Crawford and Co (successors to Cobb and Co) organised a drag to leave Yackandandah in the morning of the holiday.

 

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