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
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
The Society acquired 4 acres of land, their first Showground on Bridge Street in central Peterborough.
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.
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.
Victorian & Edwardian Shows at Millfield
With the steadily growing economic and commercial importance of Peterborough as a City, the Showground moved to Millfield.
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.
Robert Bibby became Society Secretary, a position he held for 45 years.
World War II
WW2 resulted in no annual show, however, the following show in 1947 was a record breaker for attendance numbers.
The first show under legendary secretary Mr Roy Bird, who held this position for 44 years.
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.
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.
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.
Sacrewell Farm Established
1990s- The East of England Agricultural Society collaborated with the Royal Agricultural Society of England to establish Sacrewell Farm.
The first Students touched down in England as part of the Marshal Papworth Trust.
Winter Stock Festival
The Winter Stock Festival was introduced. A show dedicated to the exhibition of the country’s finest primestock.
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.
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.
East of England Farming Conference
Our first farming conference took place aiming to inform and engage local farmers, landowners and individuals in the agricultural sector.
The launch of Cultiv8
We held our first Cultiv8 event at the Showground aimed at the under 40’s in agriculture with guest speaker, Tom Bradshaw
Relocation on the Showground
In November, we relocated from our home in the centre of the Showground to the former home of the AIC (Confederation House) at the north entrance of the Showground. The new home office has been named 'FitzRoy House,' reflecting both our long history with the Fitzwilliam family and former East of England Agricultural Society Secretary Roy Bird.