The History of Warkworth Show

How it all began


The Alnwick Journal, in its Local News section of August 15th, 1859 announced that Warkworth Flower Show is fixed for the 22nd inst., which is The day of the annual feast, when 'greatnumbersexcursionist' come down from the south It is the first show at the place, and we have no doubt will be successful." 

Successful it certainly was and the same newspaper enthusiastically reported on September 15th that “The scene of the exhibition was the courtyard of the castle, and there the multitude was- gathered together some reclining on the grassy ruins listening to the 'melodies' of the militia band., and to the sough of a gale which was wandering through the labyrinthine chambers of The desolate keep; and others feasting their eyes on the beautiful array of flowers and fruits in the tent on the green…. the committee managed as admirably as if they had been all their lives at the delightful task. There is now no doubt of the success of Warkworth Show, and we. trust to see many more such gatherings.”


And so it continued

With such success at the first attempt at staging a Show, the Committee must have been delighted and greatly encouraged to repeat the event. Almost all of the 143 Shows have taken place in, or beside, the castle, surely one of the most wonderful backdrops for any village show. Two World Wars resulted in a number of years being missed and the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 1966 saw a reduced Show staged in the village hall in the autumn.

For many years, the 'Exhibition' was on Feast Monday, a local public holiday, and the Society's tents were erected in the Castle courtyard very early on the morning by Committee Members, which must have made for a very long and hard day. In due course, the Show was moved to the car park in front of the castle and took place there for many years, with only the children’s fancy parade being allowed over the drawbridge. In 1998, the show’s Executive Committee took a bold decision to 'hire' the castle from English Heritage for Show Day. The main Show marquee, some 250ft long, remained in the car park while all the entertainments and stalls were staged within the castle, an arrangement which proved both successful and popular.




 

 
 
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