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Mid-Argyll Show

History 1951 - 1956


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Flora Smith receiving Baking Cup from Mrs McVicar, Blarbuie at Kilmartin


As we move into the 1950's we see different names appearing on the prize list as certain local names retire or leave the district, and also with improved roads and transport, names appear from outwith Mid Argyll.


One can see this by the champions of 1951 when the show was in Kilmartin, as most of the following prizewinners are from outside Mid Argyll:-


  1. Ayrshire Cattle - T. Young, Glencraigs, Campbeltown.
  2. Galloway Cattle - A. Brown, Taynuilt.
  3. Sheep - A. G. Black, Tangy and J. Smith, Monydrain.
  4. Clydesdales - Miller, Auchaleck, Campbeltown.

Again no Highland class in show.


There seems to have been no show in 1952 and an advert in the local paper in July of that year said the show was postponed meantime. Somebody may know exactly why it did not take place! By 1953 the show was again in Lochgilphead in a heatwave (something unusual for Mid Argyll Shows). The President by this time was Mr J. McVicar, Blarbuie and the main prizewinners were T. Young, Glencraigs; Campbell, Traighuaine; W. Smith & Son, Campbeltown and A. G. Black, Tangy. Highland cattle section had returned and the trustees of J. P. Dalgleish, Barbreck took most of the honours.


The show of 1954 at Kilmartin produced more or less the same champions. It also seems to have been a landmark in the connection between Mr J. G. Matheson and the Society as this was his 35th successive show since the first Worid War, many of those as secretary.


A word on the Young Farmers movement which was popular at that time. Six members of the Turiff Young Farmers Club were guests at the 1954 show and enjoyed attending a similar type show, but smaller, than their own in Turiff. On the Friday evening prior to the show, they attended a dance run by the Agricultural Society in Kilmartin Victoria Hall. For those with fond memories of dances in Kilmartin, the band that evening was the Hawthorne Broadcasting Band, and over 200 couples were present, 2/6 was admission and that included tea, sandwiches, cakes, etc.


By 1955 the show was beginning to change from being just a show of animals to other side events and displays. For a start the working Clydesdale horse was now being replaced by tractors and this section was in decline. However other sections, especially ponies, baking, preserves, flowers, etc, was increasing in popularity. The show of 1955 was at Kilmory and it was appropriate that Hugh McArthur was President. The main trophy winners were:-


  1. Ayrshire Cattle - J. L. Campbell, Achnashelloch; H. D. Smith, Balliemore; Mr McArthur, Kilmory and D. Armour, Kilkeddan.
  2. Highland Cattle - Sir W. Lithgow, Ormsary.
  3. Galloways - Mrs I. Campbell, Traighuaine.
  4. Clydesdales - D. MacKay, Killionan, Campbeltown.
  5. Sheep - W. MacKenzie, Monydrain.
  6. Dairy Produce (most points) - Mrs Campbell, Craigdhu, Ardfern.

The only thing of note regarding the next year's show at Kilmartin in 1956 was that the cup for the best Highlander was stolen during the show from a table of cups on display in the secretary's tent. No mention in later editions of the press, whether it was ever recovered or not.


Champion Ayrshire Cow, H.D. Smith, Balliemore.


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