Usk Farmers’ Club
In the early to mid 19th Century, farmers all over the country were forming Societies to promote the science of crop husbandry and animal breeding. One of these was the Usk Farmers’ Club, founded in 1844, by a group of “leading Agriculturalists” as the minute book records.
Its earliest event was a ploughing match. These were popular competitions and social occasions to demonstrate the necessary skills. In time these were expanded to include classes for the crops so produced, particularly root crops. A natural progression was to include competitions for farm animals, and before long the ladies of the house thought their domestic skills were worthy of demonstration. Such gatherings became popular social occasions where friends met and even argued over the exhibits and the judge’s conclusions.
Success bred success and the day’s entertainment widened out to cover the equine world, which in those early days included horses for heavy and light haulage in town, country and underground in the mines; as well as the hunters and ponies with which we are familiar today. The skills of their riders as well as their breeders generated fierce competition and entertainment for both competitors and onlookers.
The Show had many ups and downs over the years, some good years and some not so good. There were many venues, but after the Second World War, the annual gathering continued at Llancayo Farm, owned by the Williams family. After many successful Shows, good things come to an end and when Mr Evan Williams retired, the venue moved to Trostrey Court in 1984, one of the first three original sites in the 1850s. The Show was growing every year, and after five years a replacement venue was offered by our Patron, Lord Raglan. The new site near Cefn Tilla had all the virtues of Llancayo plus even better access, being close to the A449. We have now been here since 1989 and were able to purchase the land as our permanent showground in 2002.
Agricultural Shows have had to evolve with the times and Usk Show now includes arena events, horticulture and homecraft displays, a dog show, demonstrations of rural crafts and vintage machinery, exhibitions of poultry, rabbits and goats and a leading display of steam and other models. There are numerous Trade Stands of all shapes and sizes, displaying Food, Crafts, Agricultural supplies, gifts and clothes.
As many visitors testify, there’s no better way of enjoying the second Saturday in September, come and join us.
The Late Peter Rennie
Usk Farmers’ Club
Office contact details only:
Tel: 01291 690889
Trade stands open
9am to 6.30pm