History of Sturton and Stow Show

The first Show was held in 1887.

Bill Gibson, son of local wheelwright Robert Gibson, lived in a house on Fleets Lane in Sturton by Stow. In the late 1887 he and his good friend George Charity came up with the idea of holding a competition for the children of Sturton and Stoiw. This competition was to be for the best fruit and flowers of the autumn. The Show was held in the middle of the village on the banks of the village pond, which has long since been filled in. Mr Auckland, a Stow farmer became the Treasurer of the Show and the Sturton and Stow Agricultural and Horticultural association was born. The Show became a popular annual event.

The Show has evolved over the years and has been held on a number of different sites in the village of Sturton. In the 1920’s/30’s the show was held in Denby’s paddock and included the showing of rabbits and poultry. By the 1950’s horse sports were added to the list of competitions. Over the years there have also been children’s and adults races, fancy dress competition, cycle rally, mock cricket match, and many more. For many years the Show was held partly in the Village Institute (on the site where the Village Hall now stands) and the land where The Close is now built. In the 1960s it moved to the newly built secondary Modern School on School Lane. For many years a large Funfair was held on Bell’s Field opposite the school where parking was also provided. For many years after the Show on a Saturday night there would be a dance in the Institute with a live band.

The Show has always been held on the same day as the Sturton Ploughing Match where farmers and ploughing enthusiasts come from far and wide to take part and spectate.

The Show celebrated its centenary in 1987 with a carnival parade of floats which paraded through the village to the School. In the 2000s a classic car parade was arranged and then a classic car competition was added to the schedule. In 2017 to commemorate the 130th Show a book was written by Sturton resident Sharron Banham called ‘Pumpkins, Pies, Ploughs and produce’ celebrating the history of the Show. This book is available from Sturton and Stow History Society.