We give thanks to our main source "Stithians Agricultural Association - The First 160 Years" by Jack. R. Williams

Our History

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Founded in 1834, Stithians Show began as a challenge between the local parishioners over the standards and quality of produce and livestock; almost 200 years on, the same agricultural competitition remains at the heart of the show.

The following is an extract from the West Briton of 27th July 1838 where the 'Stithians Annual Show Fair' is reported and it really wouldn't be out of place for a report from our modern show:

"This fair was held in the Churchtown on 16th inst, when the day being fair, great numbers of respectable farmers and butchers from neighbouring parishes and towns attended and a great many bargins were effected at good prices. The fair was abundantly supplied with cattle of the best quality and breed, better than we have ever witnessed at any former exhibition. There was great competition in horses and especially in colts many of which would have done honour to the first exhibition in the kingdom."

1934 - Centenary photo of Show Officials

Minutes from Association meetings give clues as to what was happening at the show with the list of subscribers in 1875 reported as including: Kennal Vale Gunpowder Company, West of England Manure Company, Cornish Bank of Redruth and Viscount Falmouth. In 1876 there was no prize money awarded in the Sheep Section, 1894 saw a tent hired for the butter making, 1897 a horse-shoeing competition was introduced and in 1899, the show welcomed hedging and granite stone boring competitions both of which were dropped again 5 years later.

In 1905, the committee arranged for a procession, known as the 'March Up' to walk through the village to the showground on the morning of the show to mark its official opening. This tradition continued until 1993 when the show moved to the new showground where the Show Officials now march from the Main Entrance to participate in the formal opening of the show at the flagpoles.

In 1909, the enterance fee for the show was given as the following:
One Horse & Carriage & Coachman 1/6 (7.5p) • Each Occupant 1/- (5p) • Carriage Pair & Coachman 2/6 (12.5p) • Each Occupant 1/- • Motors and Driver 2/6 1/- • Each Occupant 1/-

1910 - The Grandstand at Stithians Show
1912 - Granite boring competition. Winners: E. Phillips (Contstantine) and S.G Lawry (Treverva)

In 1912, the record for Granite Boring by hand was set at 3ft 3.75inches in 15 minutes - how many could achieve that today? In 1920, the Show Secretary's salary was recorded as being £15 for the year - do you think our Secretary would accept that this year?

The show was not held during World War II (1940-1944) and soon after, in 1947, the first Hon. Life Vice Presidency was awarded to Mr. Harry Mitchell who had been an unpaid Show Secretary since he was first appointed in 1927. In 1958, the first lady President was elected and the same year also saw the first lady Hon. Life Vice President. Now known as Hon. Life Membership, it is still awarded to those that offer outstanding service to the Association.

The first year that the show had the use of the British Showjumping Association jumps came in 1952, and the show continues to use them today - although a rather more updated set! Sadly, the same year saw the Cattle Section cancelled due to an outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease in the area.

In 1977, The Association adopted the crest that we still use today; the same year a badge with the crest was awarded to the President and it was also made into a flag to fly above the show, both of these traditions have continued every year since.

An aerial view of the old showground

The Association made a huge step in 1993 with the purchase of the showground from Kennal Farm after the rent of the show fields used in the village was increased by over 300%!

It is thanks to the foresight and vision of those that made this purchase which has created such solid foundations from which the Association can develop and evolve. It is now our responsibility as custodians of the Association to follow that lead and be as forward thinking and innovative as we possibly can be as we take the show into the future.

The Timeline


The year of the first show


First Lady President was elected


Became a Registered Charity


The Association adopted their own crest


Association celebrates 150th Anniversary


Purchased the land and moved to the current showground


'Stithians Agricultural Association - The First 160 Years' book by Jack R. Williams was published


Became a limited company