History

The East of England Agricultural Society has been at the forefront of championing agriculture and livestock for over three centuries. With a rich history that dates back to 1797, the society was merged in 1970 to become the East of England Agricultural Society that we know today.

A rich history dating back to 1797...

  • Jan 10 1797

    Society Established

    The first meeting of the Peterborough Agricultural Society- Electing its 1st president the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam. Membership at the time was set at one guinea, which equates to about £1.05, an amount that remained until the 1950’s.

  • 1838 - 1847

    Land Acquired

    The Society acquired 4 acres of land, their first Showground on Bridge Street in central Peterborough.

  • 1865

    Society Expansion

    Move to New 8 Acre Showground (Boroughby) to allow for the expansion of the show. The first joint show between Northamptonshire Agricultural Society and Peterborough Agricultural Society took place.

  • 1881

    New 16 Acre Site

    Move to new 16 Acre site, just north of the City Center, known as ‘The Rink’ to accommodate the growing show and to get away from the housing development starting to surround the Boroughby site.

  • 1887

    Victorian & Edwardian Shows at Millfield

    With the steadily growing economic and commercial importance of Peterborough as a City, the Showground moved to Millfield.

  • 1911

    Moving to Eastfield Road

    The Society's new Showground at Eastfield on the northern edge of the ever-expanding City was opened by the President of the time, Lord Rothschild.

  • 1914 - 1918

    World War I

    The Society did not hold its annual show due to the Great War, but held a number of smaller one day events.

  • 1921

    Society Secretary

    Robert Bibby became Society Secretary, a position he held for 45 years.

  • 1940-1946

    World War II

    WW2 resulted in no annual show, however, the following show in 1947 was a record breaker for attendance numbers.

  • 1957

    Post WWII

    The first show under legendary secretary Mr Roy Bird, who held this position for 44 years.

  • 1966

    Society Expansion

    Move to Alwalton Site, citing the ever expanding show and city, as well as the benefit of the good road connections that came to the site.

  • 1968

    First East of England show

    The first East of England Show took place, a joint venture between the Peterborough Agricultural Society, and the Bedfordshire, Cambirdgeshire, Isle of Ely and Huntingdonshire Societies that took place at Peterborough’s Alwalton site.

  • 1972

    Attendance Record Breaker

    1972 saw a further and final merger with the Northamptonshire Agricultural Society. Attendance figures at this years show topped 100,000 for the very first time.

  • 1990's

    Sacrewell Farm Established

    1990s- The East of England Agricultural Society collaborated with the Royal Agricultural Society of England to establish Sacrewell Farm.

  • 2002

    Student Touchdown

    The first Students touched down in England as part of the Marshal Papworth Trust.

  • 2008

    Winter Stock Festival

    The Winter Stock Festival was introduced. A show dedicated to the exhibition of the country’s finest primestock.

  • 2012

    The Last Summer Show

    The last Summer Show, amidst a steady decline in numbers both in entries and attendance, coupled with the move away from agricultural content, the decision was made to cancel the Summer Show.

  • 2013

    Kids Country Day

    The first Kids Country Food & Farming Day rose in place of the Summer Show, an event dedicated to promoting agriculture and food production to primary age children.

Read about the history between the Fitzwilliam Family and the East of England Agricultural Society.