I don’t know why we’re acting surprised that we should have rain in July, traditionally, or so it seems, is usually rains on this weekend every year as it’s the weekend of Bridgend Show!
For years the show was held in Newbridge Fields in Bridgend town, convenient in the old days as most people walked there or arrived by bus, I remember throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s this was the venue and I well recall as a youngster the loudspeakers would be broadcasting all day and well into the evening. We lived close to the Fields, the back of our house overlooking the venue. Here we see an aerial photograph from the 1950s of a show in progress, kindly loaned by John Lee.
It was not an event we ever visited as a child, firstly because it was a one day Saturday show and my father had a business to run. When it became a two day show in the late 1960s, we still didn’t go as it interfered with other Sunday activities in which we were involved. So I suppose, the first time I attended would be 1974, but can’t say I was over-enthralled with it all, mainly horses and show-jumping, there was little else in those days to keep me there for more than an hour or two. Here is some rare 8mm film footage of a home movie that has recently come my way, filmed in 1968 it shows some activity on the showjumping field.
My next encounter with the event was the early 1980s when, as secretary of the Glamorgan & Gwent Group of the National Vintage Tractor & Engine Club, I organised the annual display of vintage agricultural machinery. The club put on a display for very many years and inevitably it rained or was very damp, apart from one year when I missed a day for my sister’s wedding when I remember it was boiling hot and dry! Here’s a press cutting featuring yours truly in 1981.
By the 1990s the show had outgrown the town site and moved to fields on the A48 near the New Inn Bridge. Again, rain was always a problem and I recall one year being asked to provide a display of photographs of work by members of Bridgend & District Camera Club. There was such a high moisture content in the air that all the photographs, mounted on board, curled up and dropped off the display boards, members were not best pleased I can tell you and we never showed there again despite the fact that it was an excellent shop window for us.
The show has now been held at Pencoed for very many years on a site alongside the Agricultural College. Hope it stays dry for everyone this year!