Cleveland Show’s roots lie in agriculture and horticulture. The Country Comes to Town brings back some of the sights and sounds of those former days when rural dwellers came to town to sell their wares.
Cleveland Show started life as “Stockton Show” in 1944 and was held in Ropner Park, Stockton. It then moved to Wynyard Park in approximately 1953 when the president was The Marquis of Londonderry. The Show finally moved to its present site at Stewart Park, Marton in 1963 when it joined Middlesbrough Horticultural Society and became “Teesside Show”. A name it held until 1974 when with the newly formed Cleveland County it became “Cleveland County Show”.
The Show was very honored to have appearances of the Queen’s Household cavalry in 1971 and the Queen’s coaches in 1973.
The Show this year will be the 75th Show Year! The committee are planning an exciting program of events celebrating the 75 year history of the Show.
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. 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 a music marquee with live local bands.
The Army, Army cadets and Fire service often bring displays and Askham Bryan College provide a horticulture display.
Cleveland Show is run entirely by a committee of unpaid volunteers and is self funding. Middlesbrough Council allows the use of Stewart Park, Middlesbrough which is a lovely setting for the Show. All the sections are run by volunteers without whose support we would be unable to hold the Show. During the years since 1944 that there has been a Show, there have only been 4 secretaries and we have been blessed with much sunshine.
With continued support of the people of Middlesbrough who attend the Show and the support of exhibitors from the Cleveland area, we shall see the country come to town and we hope to continue to have many more Shows.
By Margaret Dale, Secretary 1989 – 2008
Updated by Val Thomson, Secretary 2008 to date.