History book launched capturing 170 years

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Darryn Causby pictured being presented with the first copy of 170 years History of Lurgan Show by John Harrison.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Darryn Causby pictured being presented with the first copy of 170 years History of Lurgan Show by John Harrison.

Organisers of the Lurgan Show are in the final stage plans for the forthcoming 104th show being held next Saturday, June 4.

The society has been actively engaged in charting it’s own history and with much dedication and commitment from vice chairperson John Harrison, it is now known that a show has been held inconsecutively in Lurgan over the past 170 years.

The book captures a social and historical aspect not only to Lurgan town but also of the town and country input, local issues and a general synopsis of life in North Armagh since March 1846.

In March 1846, a ploughing match was held, this the first record of a farming orientated event held for the Lurgan community and hosted by the infant Lurgan Union Farming Society.

By September 1846, the first Lurgan Show was held, this taking place at the Mall, Lurgan with an impressive display of animals.

In these early years, the main aspect of the events being held by the Farming Society was to improve the land.

By the early 1900s, this aspect was quickly disappearing and the Show, now being held from 1912 at Lurgan Park, quickly developed into a highly successful County Show featuring all aspects of country life.

A move from Lurgan Park and a curtailed show event occurred during the War Years, with the Show committee also purchasing lands in 1920, to develop into the town’s new recreation grounds at Queen Street/Avenue Road, a development which became known as King’s Park Showgrounds.

The book continues through the 1960s and 1970s, this a difficult period in the history of Lurgan but Lurgan Show continued unabated and ensured all communities pulled together for this annual event.

The book featuring around seventy pages captures many interesting stories and a pictorial record through the many decades and up until present day.

Although the book will be available shortly, the committee are still interested in hearing comments or stories or from anyone who may have memorabilia from the show.

Copies of the book will shortly be available priced at £5 each.

Further details can be obtained from John Harrison 07855 007 746 or www.lurganshow.co.uk. Alternatively e-mail the show at info@lurganshow.co.uk