History book on Lurgan Show

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council 
pictured being presented with the first copy of 170 years History of Lurgan Show by John Harrison
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council pictured being presented with the first copy of 170 years History of Lurgan Show by John Harrison

A book has been launched charting 170 years of Lurgan Show, just in time for this year’s event on Saturday.

The book reveals that the first show was held in Lurgan 170 years ago and its 70 pages are packed with interesting stories and photos throughout the decades until the present day.

As organisers toil in the final stage plans for this year’s show on Saturday June 4, the Society has been actively engaged in charting it’s own history.

Vice Chairperson John Harrison is behind the publication which captures a social and historical aspect not only to Lurgan town but also of the town and country input, local issues and a general synopsis of life in North Armagh since March 1846.

In March 1846, a ploughing match was held, this the first record of a farming orientated event held for the Lurgan community and hosted by the infant Lurgan Union Farming Society.

By September 1846, the first Lurgan Show was held, this taking place at the Mall, Lurgan with an impressive display of animals. In these early years, the main aspect of the events being held by the Farming Society was to improve the land. By the early 1900’s, this aspect was quickly disappearing and the Show, now being held from 1912 at Lurgan Park, quickly developed into a highly successful County show featuring all aspects of country life.

A move from Lurgan Park and a curtailed show event occurred during the War Years, with the Show committee buying land in 1920, to develop into the town’s new recreation grounds at Queen St/Avenue Rd - a development which became known as King’s Park Showgrounds.

The book continues through the 1960’s and 1970’s. This was a difficult period but the Show continued unabated and ensured all communities pulled together for this annual event. The book featuring around seventy pages captures many interesting stories and a pictorial record through the many decades and up until present day.

Although the book will be available shortly, the committee are still interested in hearing comments or stories or from anyone who may have memorabilia from the show.

Copies will shortly be available priced at £5 each. Further details can be obtained from John Harrison 07855007746 or www.lurganshow.co.uk Alternatively e-mail the show at info@lurganshow.co.uk