AS the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society makes final preparations for the move to a new venue and the launch of the 2013 Balmoral Show at Balmoral Park, Maze, now seems to be an ideal time to consider recording the memories of many of those who have been associated with the show in the years prior to its move.
Queen Mary University of London is leading a major EU-funded Oral – History project on the Peace Process of which core components include the creation of a heritage interview archive, the delivery of oral history training, and supporting the development of local projects.
One of the three local projects awarded, offers an opportunity to record the life-time memories of some of those who have been associated with Balmoral Show during the last 40 years, detailing how Balmoral Show and the farming community have worked together to deliver a successful event year on year which engaged an excellent cross section of the community.
The success of the project will be enhanced by the range of staff and exhibitors who have agreed to record their stories relating to Balmoral and the development of the various sectors of farming throughout the years.
These will all contribute to a permanent record which will be stored for future generations to reflect on and compare this with the Balmoral Show of their time.
The recorded histories will be transcribed and stored in the archives of Queen Mary University, Trinity College Dublin and possibly the Public Records Office Belfast and will not be released for consultation until 1 January 2040.
However it is hoped that a brief resume of the interviews will be available in booklet form at the 2013 Balmoral Show.