A Show Rich in History
For more than 100 years, Honley Show has been on Yorkshire folk’s calendars.
Agricultural shows were one of the highlights of the year for many local communities in the Honley area.
During the nineteen century neighbouring villages, including Holmfirth, Meltham, Woodsome and Kirkburton all held shows, but it was Honley’s show that stood the test of time.
Popular for its well-respected agricultural competitions, the show may have lost its longer title – ‘Honley Floral, Horticultural and Agricultural Society’ – but it certainly has not lost its appeal. It is still very much a ‘must have’ on the diaries of farmers, families, locals and visitors alike.
Today, Honley Show is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious, well-attended and well-respected one-day agricultural shows in the county.
For many years it took place at a site off Bradshaw Road. It then moved to Farnley Tyas for more than a decade. Poor weather and Covid meant the show couldn’t go ahead for a time, but in 2021, Honley Show celebrated its centenary year with a special event at Honley Cricket ground – the place where it all started.
By 2022, the show was back on top form when the community event returned to a new and larger venue in Wilshaw.
The athletic and bicycle races may have been dropped, but the hotly contested traditional farming competitions, including cattle, sheep, goats and pigs are still held.
The winners of these sections compete to go through to ‘The Grand Parade’ in the hope of being named ‘Best in Show’.
Then there are competitive rabbit and poultry sections, as well as a Kennel Club accredited dog show and a fun dog show. For those who prefer four wheels to four legs, there are also car and tractor competitions.
Creative locals can showcase their talents in the handicraft section which covers everything from arts and crafts to textiles, baking, preserves and floral designs. There are more trophies to be won and the competition flourishes just as much as the creativity.
Local schools and school children are also encouraged to take part by demonstrating their skills in Lego construction, baking, product design and technology, handwriting, and arts and crafts.
Fun Day Out for Families
The show attracts thousands of visitors each year. Families come to see the animals, tractors and emergency service vehicles, and they love to spot their own exhibits.
The family fun continues with fairground attractions and side shows, including a traditional Punch and Judy show. There is also plenty of opportunity for shopping within the trade stands and for countryside crafts, such as beekeepers and stick turners in the countryside tents.
For tired, aching and weary legs, there is a wide variety of food and drink stalls, including a licensed bar.
Run by the Community for the Community
The local community gets involved in all manner of ways. From local businesses who set up trade stands or sponsor the event, to exhibitors, caterers and stewards on the day, the event’s continued success is thanks to the support of its local community.
Show President, Peter Aspinall, said: “Putting on a show of this size and quality takes a huge amount of effort and commitment.
“We have several gaps on the committee which we would love to fill. We are looking for energetic and enthusiastic people who support our values and would enjoy delivering a top-notch agricultural show to their local community.”
Committee meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month. Anyone who would like to find out more or who can volunteer, can message the committee here.
To find out about other businesses in Honley and to explore village life click here.
* Photography by Sandie Nicholson – Photos of Yorkshire.