The show has been going for well over 100 years, and is a highlight of the local calendar. It has a long history, starting as a Flower Show, and growing to its current state.
The first mention of the Lustleigh Horticultural Show was in the Parish Magazine of August 1888. Even here, reference was made to a ‘show’ having been held the previous year.
The society had been thriving for a number of years under the title “The Horticultural and Cottage Garden Society”. The Cottage Garden Society held regular flower shows, and it seems that the larger Lustleigh Show grew from these.
The first documented show saw classes not only for flowers and home produce, but also included knitting, needlework, and prizes for butter and honey.
From here the “Flower Show” grew rapidly. The Horticultural Society (now the Lustleigh Garden Society) continued to organise it annually, rarely missing a year.
The show was cancelled during the Second World War, but at the committee meeting on 19th November 1946, plans were made to reintroduce the show the following year.
After the war, the show expanded to include a gymkhana, goat show, and dog show. There also began the tradition of a ‘show dance’ where the villagers could party.
Move to Kelly Farm
In February 1947, an agreement was made and “Mr Amery kindly placed a very excellent placed field just off the main Bovey Tracey road, at the disposal of the society for the flower show”.
This same location at Kelly Farm is still host to the show. The Amery family are still our kind hosts.
The show expands again
In 1990, the Horticultural Society passed the organisation of the growing show over to an independent committee of volunteer villagers. The Horticultural society do still run the horticultural and craft show in the main marquee every year.
Under the stewardship of the of the new committee, the event has gone from strength to strength. We have introduced new events including the 10k run, terrier racing and fairground rides.
(Adapted from ‘The Lustleigh Show’ by the Lustleigh Archives)
In 2018, due to the rapidly increasing size of the Dog Show, an additional field was incorporated into the Show Grounds, enabling the Dog Show to hold events in three rings.
Sadly however, due to limited interest in the Horse Show, that section of the show was discontinued, with that field now given over to parking.