Cleveland Show is the biggest one day agricultural show in the north east and is held annually on the fourth Saturday in July in Stewart Park. It’s one of the only shows in the UK to be held in a public park but run by volunteers. Our latest show was last Saturday 22nd July when the Country Came to Town!
The Show started in 1944 and moved to its present site at Stewart Park in 1963. Middlesbrough Council kindly allows the Show to use the park and it is a lovely setting for the Show. Our visitors, exhibitors, stewards and judges all tell us that part of the reason they attend is because of the stunning location at the park. Each year up to twenty-thousand people descend on the park and a fun day is had by all!
The format of the show has changed very little over the years, classes for horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, farm produce, rabbits, cavies, pigeons, dogs, horticulture, honey and home craft were all included in the original shows. Over the years, some things have changed – we no longer have a pig section or farm produce, but we now have a vintage machinery section, goats and ferrets. There is now a large craft fair in one of our main marquees and this is a very popular section. The trade stands have increased and we have funfair rides for the children. In recent years we have added a Children’s Fun Zone provided by Parkway Day Nursery with competitions, entertainers and activities all day and over the last couple of years we have innovated further by introducing a music marquee with live local bands. We are always looking for ways in which we can keep the show fresh and edgy but also respecting our agricultural roots and history. Some things don’t change, see the photos of the goat section in 1982, and this years’ goat section 35 year later!
The Cleveland Show Goat Section in 1982
The Cleveland Show Goat Section in 2017
Our secretaries office has always been located within the park too, we have been at several locations and for a while were based within the Central Lodge, which is now being renovated by Askham Bryan College. During our time there the building was showing signs of its age, although its grandeur could still be glimpsed. It was dusty, some areas were not safe to go into and the spiders hidden in the cracks of the building were enormous! A trip to the toilet could be an adventure, dodging the spiders, cobwebs and the holes in the floor! So it is pleasing to see the development, as the building is made safe, dusted down and returned to its former glory. We are sure it will be a very pleasant place for students to study.
In recent years, the show has been sponsored by Askham Bryan College. Cleveland Show is self funding so this support is vital to enable us to hold the show. We hope this partnership will continue for many years. We are also supported by a team of volunteers who are essential.
During the seventy-three years there has been a show, we have been blessed with much sunshine, although this year was the wettest years in recent times and one of the wettest ever on record. So, that is it for this year, and we are gathering up our gear and storing it away for next year. However, the Show work doesn’t really ever end and we are already planning next year’s event. We hope to see you there next year on Saturday 28th July, 2018 when the Country will Come to Town once again!
Cleveland Show Treasurer/ Assistant Secretary